Byline: Azfar-ul-Ashfaque and Imran Ayub
KARACHI -- Small traders of the city on Monday blasted the Sindh government for 'doing nothing' for them during the lockdown period and asked the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan to play its role and raise voice for reopening of their businesses.
A delegation of small traders visited the temporary headquarters of the MQM-P in Bahadurabad and held a meeting with its central leadership, including convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and senior leaders Amir Khan and Kanwar Naveed Jameel.
The traders were perturbed by the Sindh government's directive under which they were not allowed to open full shutters of their shops, sit inside and to deal with customers.
The traders said that small businesses were badly hit by the ongoing lockdown and despite promises Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had done 'nothing' for them.
Chief of the All Karachi Traders' Alliance Atiq Mir said that city traders were sitting outside their shuttered shops in markets. 'The government had just shut the businesses without taking into account our problems,' he said.
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Another traders' leader said that the Sindh government did nothing for the community and asked the MQM-P to approach the federal government to redress their grievances as they paid federal taxes.
However, Mr Mir said that traders did not want to violate the law by pulling up their shutters. He said the government should allow reopening of businesses under standard operating procedures.
MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told the traders that past experience had suggested that the Sindh government would not do anything for traders.
He said the Sindh government had allowed businesses of their choice to reopen and it must allow small traders to resume their businesses.
Dr Siddiqui asked the delegation to provide the MQM-P their SOPs so that it could present the same before the prime minister and other quarters concerned for action.
He said the MQM-P supported all the demands of traders and the federal and provincial governments should accept all their demands forthwith.
He said that if imposing a lockdown was the responsibility of the Sindh government then it was its responsibility too to help the city's traders.
The MQM-P leader said that Karachi paid 70 per cent of the national taxes and the sales tax collected from the metropolis was 80pc more than what was collected from five big...