PESHAWAR  -  Business community has strongly opposed the raids conducted by officials of various departments on hotels and food outlets in Peshawar and warned to protest if government did not stop collection of fines from shopkeepers.

This decision was taken in a meeting of representatives of Tajir Itehad (traders’ alliance) with Malik Mehr Elahi, provincial president of Anjuman-e-Tajiran in the chair on Saturday. Senior traders including Khalid Ayub, Ihtesham Haleem, Lala Noor Mohammad, Wazir Khan, Asif Safi also spoke on the occasion.

The participants said that during the past one year, the raids of government departments and imposition of huge fines on the owners of food outlets had forced the businessmen to shut their workplaces.

“We have always extended full support to the government whenever it sought cooperation in control of lawlessness, construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and heritage trail projects and even in the anti-encroachment campaigns in the busy commercial areas of provincial metropolis,” they said. They added that traders in Peshawar had heavily suffered due to prolonged spell of terrorism but the government did not compensate them properly. In addition, they said the BRT project also multiplied their miseries because they had to close their shops due to construction work.

The demanded of the government to open all the roads in city and cantonment areas and to remove hurdles in movement of vehicles as they were facing serious problems in loading and unloading of goods in various bazaars.

“We will soon convene a traders’ convention to devise the future strategy as the government does not seem serious to resolve problems of the business community,” they said.

They demanded of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan to redress grievances of traders at the earliest.