In Pakistan, businessmen worried about impact of sit-in on economy

Say district administrations have seized goods containers for blocking roads

Shahram Haq October 25, 2019

LAHORE: The upcoming Azadi March and possibility of yet another sit-in by opposition political parties have sparked a fresh wave of concern among the business community of Pakistan.

Though the planned sit-in will take place in Islamabad, still businessmen, especially those focused on the export and import business, feel the political chaos would have adverse economic implications throughout the country.

Traders have complained that containers with different consignments have been confiscated by administrations of different districts to block roads.

“Retailers and traders are annoyed because whatever business is left in the country is now being ruined by the latest round of container seizures,” said Pakistan FMCG Association Vice Chairman Tanveer Ijaz while talking to The Express Tribune.

He revealed that currently goods transporters were not dispatching any consignments to the north from Karachi due to obvious reasons. “Transporters do not want their containers to be confiscated by the district administrations,” he elaborated.

“Majority of the containers, already held by the district administrations, have perishable food and related items. A few of them contain chemicals which can result in explosion,” he said. “We have contacted the authorities concerned but they are not listening.”

According to the traders, Pakistan’s economy is in a dismal state and the country needs to enhance exports to boost revenues. However, such disruptions in business activities can create a negative image of Pakistan among nations which import goods from the country.

He expressed concern that such actions could dent exports owing to tough competition in global markets.

“Exporters cannot bear such chaos, we need round-the-clock facilitation by the government so that we can dispatch international orders on time,” said Pakistan Tanners Association North Zone Secretary Fahim Ahmed.

“Our global competitors are way ahead of us and the international buyers have alternative options to switch to other countries.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2019.

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