PESHAWAR      -      Business community has expressed reservations over the imposition of heavy fines on pretext of cleanliness condition by the local administration and asked to stop harassment of small merchants.

The issue was raised by a group of traders, in a meeting, with the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Maqsood Anwar here at chamber house on Wednesday. The SCCI chief said the district administration has started collection of hefty penalties from small traders over the issue of poor cleanliness and harassing them on refusal to pay the fine, which he termed completely unjust and unacceptable to them.

He alleged that certain government departments use such tactics to hide their poor performance, which is a disappointing move and condemnable act. He added the poor cleanliness on both side of Ring Road Peshawar exposed the poor performance of the Water Supply and Sanitation Program (WSSP).

Mr Maqsood further said the business community is already perturbed due to imposition of new huge taxes while now the collection of heavy fines on name of cleanliness was tantamount to create gulf between the government and business community. He said the business hostile step of the administration might develop mistrust between the business community and government, adding it can also create difficulties to achieve the set revenue collection targets in the province.

The chamber president also said that Ring road Peshawar had elevated after refurbishment and reconstruction so it has caused great difficulties for traders and locals, living on both sides of the road.