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Thursday Jul 02 2020
Web Desk

Karachi traders register strong protest against Sindh's decision to extend coronavirus curbs

Web Desk
Pedestrians and motorists looks as a police vehicle stops outside a shop during patrol to ensure closure of shops as a market curfew begins amid a province-wide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus in Karachi, Pakistan, April 4, 2020. uz Zaman/Files

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday rejected the extension in coronavirus curbs announced yesterday and demanded that the Sindh government revoke it's decision.

"Businesses should be allowed to operate at full capacity," the statement from KCCI said, adding that the administration should ensure implementation of SOPs.

The chamber said that if the lockdown persists, several businesses will shut down permanently. "Business closures will increase chaos, unemployment, and poverty."

'Crackdown' on economy

Meanwhile, representatives of the Karachi Electronics Dealers Association said that the imposed lockdown was a "crackdown" on the economy.

Jameel Paracha, addressing a press conference, declared: "Beginning tomorrow, all businesses will resume activities in Karachi."

The contention between Centre and provinces has devastated the country's businesses, Paracha said, adding that the lockdown "drama" should end.

The virus cannot be controlled by closing shopping malls and opening residential areas, the trade body said. "Neither the Centre nor Sindh  provided relief to traders who shut down their business for three months," he claimed.

The representatives said that the lockdown was not bearable anymore and that the traders would show "resistance" from now on.

Traders are 'bankrupt'

The traders while demanding that the government lift the imposed restrictions said that "a large number have gone bankrupt".

"The arrests of traders and the fines imposed on them are unbearable," the trade body said, adding: "[Authorities] do not issue receipts after receiving payment for heavy fines from traders."

Not "providing receipts raises fears that the money we pay in fines" is not being added to the national exchequer, they said.

The traders said that K-Electric bills will not be paid until the power utility ends loadshedding in the metropolis and that people should resist the personnel when they arrive to cut off the electricity.

"Abolish KE's monopoly and introduce new power supply companies to provide cheap electricity to the masses," they added.