PML-N demands relief for small traders amid crona crisis
Party’s Punjab president says PTI ‘miserably failed’ to enforce lockdown
ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Punjab chapter Rana Sanaullah has demanded a relief package for small traders immediately, stressing that it is the government’s responsibility to support them.
He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf could not achieve anything from the lockdown due to its “incompetence, lack of vision, inaction” and now people are no longer willing to abide by the government's decision.
The former Punjab law minister added that the government announced the lockdown without any planning, strategy or preparation. It remained confused and indecisive and made a mess out of it, failing miserably to implement it, he maintained.
“The Sindh government was imposing a lockdown while the federal government
was delivering speeches against the measure and then in its traditional manner PTI took a U-turn and announced the shutdown out of nowhere,” he said, predicting that people won't abide by the restrictions for more than a couple of weeks at maximum because their fear of their children starving to death has taken over their fear of death by coronavirus.
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Sanaullah said special bailout packages have been provided to small traders for their economic survival worldwide.
Criticising prime minister's relief package, he said small shopkeepers who truly deserved government’s financial assistance were ignored in it, adding that they were already badly affected due to the country-wide lockdown.
He said that Rs100 billion have been earmarked for SMEs in the relief package.
“If the government does not implement an immediate distribution strategy of the fund, then this package will not be beneficial for the traders,” he remarked, demanding that the allocated money for relief package be distributed to the provinces according to the NFC formula.
He suggested provinces to issue schemes for financial assistance and interest free loans for small traders.
He urged authorities concerned to wave off electricity bills of small traders consuming 200 units.
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He said that other commercial bills of electricity should also be deferred for three months and no surcharge fee should be collected on deferred bills. He advised provincial governments to provide relief for rent of public and commercial property.
He stressed it is important to maintain uninterrupted supply chain process across the country for small traders.