ISLAMABAD-Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) senior vice president Tahir Abbasi, on Tuesday said businesses have been ruined due to coronavirus and lockdown was still going on in different areas of Islamabad. He said the situation has sent small traders to the point of starvation, and urged the government either waive off six-month rent of small traders or pay it on its own as it has paid the electricity bills of businesses.

He expressed these views while talking to Malik Rab Nawaz, President, Traders Welfare Association Jinnah Supermarket, Khalid Mehmood Chaudhry, Secretary Traders Action Committee. ICCI Executive Member Mehboob Ahmed Khan and Saeed Ahmed Bhatti, ICCI Former Vice President was also present at the occasion.

Expressing his views on the occasion, former ICCI Senior Vice President of Khalid Chaudhry said Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad has increased water bills by several hundred times which was tantamount to great injustice to the citizens and traders of Islamabad. He said ordinary people were blaming the incumbent government while such increase was being made at the behest of Mayor, Sheikh Ansar Aziz to discredit the government.

He demanded immediate reversal of the illegal increase in water bills. He added that due to the four-month lockdown, restaurants have been closed and thousands of people have lost their jobs.

He also urged the government to allow restaurants to open under standard operating procedures and weekly lockdown should be limited to one day instead of two days with an increase in the timings of businesses.