KARACHI - Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar Monday demanded of the Sindh Government to immediately announce package for daily wagers who are facing hardships to feed their families during the lockdown.

Talking to a delegation of All City Tajir Ittehad here, Waseem Akhtar said that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation has decided to defer to take rent from tenants of 7500 shops in 43 KMC markets, adding that the same would be charged in four-month installation, said a statement on Monday.

The delegation was laid by Chairman All City Tajir Ittehad Hakeem Shah while KMC Senior Director Coordination Masood Alam, Director Finance Muhammad Imran, Director Anti Encroachment Basheer Siddiqui and other officials were also present on the occasion.

The Mayor said that KMC earn around Rs 80 million per year from shops’ rent and the amount is spent on renovation and ulplift of markets. The delegation hailed Mayor for deferring the rent and taking it in installations.

Waseem Akhtar said that small traders and daily wagers are finding it very difficult to feed their families and if the situation persists, it may have more impacts than coronavirus. He added that he considered the traders demands rightful and asked the government to take practical steps for them.

He feared that if the situation continues, three million people would be rendered jobless and 10 percent more population of the country would go below poverty line.

“The business used to be at peak on the eve Ramazan and Eid-ul-Fitr also suffered a major blow. Online shopping could be effected during lockdown but in Pakistan billions of people are unware of online shopping,” he added.

Speaking about COVID19, Waseem Akhtar said that World Health Organization and experts have warned that month of May could prove difficult and prevention is the best way to stop further spread of novel coronavirus.

Speaking on the occasion, Hakeem Shah thanked Mayor and said that he stood besides small traders at this time and raising voice for them. He said that COVID19 affected the business at large and they have to work extremely hard to cover the loss.