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KARACHI: Despite zeal and fervour amongst the citizens to celebrate the 14th August, traders on Saturday resented a 'big' fall in the annual Independence Day sales from a 'harsher' Covid-19 lockdown.

Traders reckoned the Sindh government is 'victimizing' the citizens and traders of Karachi through unnecessary restrictions on business, social and academic activities under the garb of Covid-19 threat.

Last year, traders said, the Independence Day sales of flags, badges, bangles, textile and paper bunts, head bands, and drapers etc. was higher by 40 percent that those of this year.

With in eight days before the 14th August celebrations, they said vendors could not make headway to sell more than what they could do. It was hard phase this year for sellers waiting entire year, they added.

"Even public, whose zeal and patriotism stand as higher as ever, could not turn to the markets because of the harsher Covid-19 lockdown," Atiq Mir, chairman All Karachi Tajir Ittehad told Business Recorder.

Only people in their localities could celebrate the pre-14th August events, he said the city looked nearly deserted to show any signs of Independence Day preparations. "It was not the case last year though," he added.

Demand for sweets like cakes and other confectionary items were higher last year on such an august occasion, he said, there was no such preparations this time around.

"As there is no doubt about existence of coronavirus, but the restrictions on trade were harsher," Atiq Mir said, adding that the tradesmen are now faced with a dilemma of losing 80 percent of their investments from the incessant lockdowns.

General impression amongst the traders and public about the PPP longest ever rule in Sindh, he said, is 'abhorrent.' He feared the country may fall in tax collections this fiscal year because of the worst trade and business activities in Karachi.

"Traders and citizens give a clear impression that the PPP government is just for tax collections from Karachi not for its development," he said, "the traders and public of this city are facing political victimization."

He said the Covid-19 lockdown in Karachi is a political motive of the ruling PPP, hoping the replacement of the Sindh government will always be welcomed by public of Karachi. People are looking forward to a political change in Sindh, which not matter comes through martial law or a Governor rule.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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