RAWALPINDI: The small traders and shopkeepers have vowed to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) when their shops finally open today.
The announcement by the government to open small markets, all street shops, industries from today, May 9, has sent a a wave of joy among small traders.
The vendors have announced that whatever SOP is given for opening shops will be strictly enforced and customers will also be bound to the SOP, shopkeepers said talking to The Express Tribune. Nothing will be sold to customers who come to shops without wearing mask, the orders of social distance in the shops will be complied with, they said.
In Rawalpindi, around 250 small bazaars across the city, cantonment and its environs and thousands of small and large shops in each neighbourhood are being opened with regular timing from Saturday.
Shops will be open from dawn to 5pm, after which they will be open again from 8pm to 10 pm. With the announcement of the easing in lockdown, neighbourhood shopkeepers and small markets vendors have started preparations. Many shopkeepers have also placed orders for new goods for Eidul Fitr.
Leader of several merchant associations of Dhok Elahi Bakhsh, Dhok Khabba, Sadiqabad, Muslim Town, Tench Bhatta, Misryal Road, Dhok Syyedan Road, Adiala Road, Pir Wadahi welcomed the decision of gradual phase out of lockdown.
Representative of traders Asif Jadoon, Qaiser Kayani, Sheikh Nadeem said that with the permission to open shops, they do not need any government assistance. A trader makes his own living from entrepreneurship, just let them work, Jadoon said.
“On the morning of May 10, we will open the shops and clean them first. There will be special prayers after which the business activities will be begun,” Kayani said.
Nadeem said that after the opening of the shops, “we will be able to meet our daily end meets. We respect the decision to lock down shops two days a week and daily from 5pm to 8pm and 10pm.”
This decision will not only end unemployment but will also start the wheel of the economy at the street level.
Action against profiteers
Under vigorous campaign against profiteering and hoarding, 1,633 raids were conducted by Price Control Magistrates in seven tehsils of Rawalpindi district and action in accordance with the law was taken against 216 people on violation of official rate lists.
The administration also sent behind the bars 13 violators while fines amounting to over Rs60,000 were also imposed in this connection.
According to a district administration spokesman, the campaign had been accelerated and raids were conducted on the special directives of DC Anwarul Haq.
He said, following the special directives of Punjab government, teams were constituted to conduct raids against holders, profiteers, adulterers and check violation of law particularly during Ramazan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2020.