Incentives asked for small traders

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Jun 05, 2022

KARACHI: Businessmen Group (BG) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Saturday demanded a relief package for small traders and shopkeepers, saying upsurge in petroleum prices by Rs60 within a week and hike in electricity and gas tariff had put them in a catch-22 situation.

In a joint statement, the business groups lamented that small traders were not in government’s priority list, leaving them left along during an ongoing difficult time for the economy.

“A catch-22 situation has been created not only for industries, but for all segments of society, particularly poor masses and small traders/shopkeepers who simply cannot bear the brunt and were extremely worried over across-the-board inflation triggered by the rising petroleum prices, gas and electricity tariffs,” the statement said.

BG chairman Zubair Motiwala appealed the government to come forward and rescue small traders and shopkeepers by devising an effective mechanism to protect their interest. He called for a special relief package that could reduce their cost and ensure that poor masses survive in this era of inflation.

Motiwala said inflation had gripped the entire society as prices of almost all the household items skyrocketed, making them unaffordable for majority of the public.

“While those people, who were somehow able to afford, have also become very cautious that has brought down the shopkeepers’ sales to somewhere around 20 to 30 percent.”

KCCI president Muhammad Idrees said production activities of the manufacturing sector supplying goods at local markets had also gone down on rising cost of doing business and a subsequent increase in the cost of finished goods.