Market closure costs billions | Pakistan Today

Market closure costs billions

With complete closure of markets in Karachi on the “mourning call of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)” the city’s traders who are already going through losses of almost Rs1.5 billion daily, have faced over Rs5 billion loss of trade on Tuesday.
As the city’s markets started to shut down amidst panic following the press conference of MQM, where the party announced their decision to observe a peaceful mourning day on August 23rd, traders faced billions of rupees losses in the special pre-Eid shopping season, Pakistan Today was told. Not only did markets remained shut from Monday night till Tuesday evening, import and export activities at Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Port Qasim also remained suspended as the required staff, officials and transporters could not perform their duties amidst fear of violence. Exports from Karachi Port were also stalled for the entire day, inflicting huge losses to exporters, many of whom have tight deadlines to meet. Apart from losses faced by traders, the goods supply to up country and vice versa, also remained suspended as various transporters organisations had also announced to observe the day while keeping their vehicles out of the city’s roads and highways.
According to traders, they have already faced almost Rs25 billion losses against the expected business during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr, as 60 per cent of the business in the financial hub of the country, has been affected by the on going violence in the metropolis. Industrial activities in the five industrial zones of the city also remained less keeping the pace of industrial production slow and caused billions of rupees losses to the national exchequer, sources said. “Many of the small traders, who have obtained loans from various banks to do more business in the season, are also feared to be bank defaulters,” they said adding that the default in payment to various suppliers from up country by the small traders could also harm further supply.
“Closure of market for one day translates into losses of over Rs5 billion in the current season,“ Atiq Mir of All Karachi Traders Alliance said adding that the small traders have already faced approximately Rs30 billion losses. As the police, rangers and law enforcement agencies have failed to protect the lives, properties and valuables of the citizens and traders, the city’s business is halted within an hour of any incidence of violence, target killing or firing. Under the prevalent law and order situation, buyers were avoiding the risk of visiting markets as they feared the loss of their lives and valuables any time, he added.
A shopkeeper at Tariq Road said that he was worried about the payment of money for clothes he ordered from Faisalabad for Eid-ul-Fitr. As traders book goods like clothes, cosmetics, shoes and others from up country to meet the demands of the city during the religious festival, one month before Ramadan, they were worried about their expected losses. Though the trader associations of old city markets, Tariq Road and others have announced to open the markets after 5 :00 pm on Tuesday, people were still reluctant to come out of their homes due to fear of violence.



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