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KARACHI: Leaders of business community have urged the government to come forward to help the shopkeepers who suffered huge losses in fire incident in Saddar Cooperative Market and demanded that the losses of all shopkeepers should be fully compensated.

Chairman BMG and former President of KCCI, Zubair Motiwala expressed his sorrow over the destruction of 400 shops that were burnt in the fire incident. Shopkeepers have lost millions of rupees; goods and cash have been burnt to ashes in many shops.

He said that Cooperative Market is located in Saddar where traders and shopkeepers pay highest taxes to FBR and Sindh Revenue Board. Therefore, it is the responsibility of both the federal and the provincial governments to come forward and provide immediate assistance to distressed shopkeepers.

Karachi Chamber President Muhammad Idrees said that in this difficult time Karachi Chamber is with the concerned shopkeepers and asked the government to announce immediate relief for the rehabilitation of fire victims.

Karachi Chamber can provide services in estimating damages and compensation, said Karachi Chamber President. Everyone is aware of our exemplary performance in reviving Bolton Market, said Mohammad Idrees. We are ready to help the victims of the Cooperative Market in the same spirit, he added.

He demanded that the government should immediately announce compensation for the losses of all shopkeepers. United Business Group (UBG) Patron in Chief S M Muneer, President Zubair Tufail, Khalid Tawab and other leaders expressed their sorrow and concern over the devastating fire in Saddar Cooperative Market and burning of hundreds of shops.

S M Muneer said that the properties of three and a half to four hundred shopkeepers of the Cooperative Market have been reduced to ashes due to the terrible fire. He said that the shopkeepers of the Cooperative Market have been paying taxes to the federal and provincial governments, so they have the right to demand from the government to take steps to rehabilitate their damaged businesses.

UBG President said that more than Rs2 billion losses have been suffered by the shopkeepers. The government should immediately come to the aid of the devastated and distressed shopkeepers and make up for their losses.

Zubair Tufail demanded from the government an investigation should be carried out and those responsible for this catastrophe should be given severe punishments. Chairman UBG Sindh Zone Khalid Tawab said that the government should announce immediate relief for the rehabilitation of the victims and it is the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. In order to help the distressed shopkeepers immediately, immediate funds should be provided to revive the businesses of the shopkeepers.

Provincial Minister for Industries & Commerce and Cooperative Department Jam Ikramullah Dharejo, while taking notice of the incident of fire in the Saddar Cooperative Market, has asked the Secretary Cooperative Department Sindh to form an inquiry committee, on which Secretary Cooperative Department Sindh Naseem ul Ghani Sehto has constituted the committee. The committee will be headed by Managing Director Cooperative Housing Authority Ijaz Ahmed Khatri. The committee will submit its report within 15 days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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