PESHAWAR - President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Engr Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz Saturday urged the government to announce a comprehensive fiscal relief package for coronavirus hit small scale industries and traders.

He was addressing a meeting with delegation of private Wah Noble Company here at the Chamber House.

Wah Noble Company Senior General Manager Marketing, Syed Azmat Hussain led the delegation. On the occasion, the company representatives gave a comprehensive briefing to the industrialists, traders and members of business community.

The chamber president noticed that besides general masses, the business community, particularly, small industries and traders had been adversely affected due to outbreak of the novel Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which had brought negative impacts on the country’s economy.

Maqsood Pervaiz asked the government to announce a comprehensive financial relief package for coronavirus affected small scale industries, traders and shopkeepers which would not only helpful to revive economic and commercial activities, but it would also stabilize the Pakistan’s economy worst-hit by this global virus.

He said that half of population of the country was living below poverty line. He said trade and economic activities had halted due to prolonged lockdown as precautionary measure to contain spread of the COVID-19.

He added that small industrialists, traders and shopkeepers were facing enormous financial and other challenges under the prevailing circumstances.

Therefore, he demanded of the government to waive off all taxes of small industries and traders, deferment of electricity, gas bills as well as not collecting additional surcharges in utilities bills under a comprehensive economic relief package.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KP-EZDMC), Javed Iqbal Khattak has said that the construction industry has been restored, while framing of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the opening of other industries is continued in consultations with stakeholders.

He was talking to a delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) here in his office, said a press release issued Saturday.

The delegation was comprised of former president Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) & general secretary Businessman Panel (BMP), Haji Ghulam Ali and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) KP-EZDMC Javed Iqbal Khattak, the vice president FPCCI, Qaiser Khan Daudzai, Coordinator FPCCI for KP Sartaj Ahmad Khan, former VP FPCCI, Haji Fazal Elahi, president Industrialists Association Peshawar (IAP), Malik Niaz Ahmad.

The meeting reviewed the impact of the lockdown of industries and trade, and developed a consensus on launching one-window operation for allotment of plots to investors in the new industrial estates, provision of technical assistance and simplification of the processing of application forms.

On this occasion, the representatives of the business community and KP-EZDMC agreed on joint efforts for promotion of investment, allotment of plots in new industrial estates and convening of a consultative meeting of all trade bodies for investment in the province.

The meeting also proposed waiving off of utility bills of lockdown affected industrial units and SMEs and mark-up on bank loans for a period of three months.

The CEO KP-EZDMC, Javed Iqbal Khattak, who is also heading the provincial government taskforce on industries, assured the business community that their proposals would be brought in the notice of the provincial government.

He pledged that efforts for the mitigation of the problems of business community would continue and giving maximum opportunity to local investors is top priority in both new and existing industrial estates.

The CEO reiterated his resolve of the facilitation of industrialists to bring the province at par with other provinces in the industrial development.

On this occasion, the former president FPCCI, Haji Ghulam Ali, Qaiser Khan Daudzai and Sartaj Ahmad Khan welcomed the appointment of Javed Khattak as CEO of the company.

They while paying tributes to his extra-ordinary performance as General Manager (GM) Small & Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) expressed confidence that like his past assignment, he will leave no stone unturned in making all-out efforts and steps for the promotion of industries and trade in the province and will always FPCCI on his side.