The management of Johar Town Model Bazaar has increased the rent of stalls twice within a year. The unlawful raise has affected the business of stallholders adversely. The management first increased Rs1,000 in January, and another Rs750 in August, leaving the businesses destabilised. The decision is made at a time when inflation is at its peak and the purchasing power of the people is already affected.
A yearly bond (stamp paper) that bars the management from increasing the rent twice in a year was signed and was submitted by the shopkeepers last month while depositing Rs700 as the fee for a stamp paper worth Rs100.
Before collecting the bonds and increasing the rent, the management switched the deposited money from the bank to an outside shopkeeper who charged Rs40 extra for the bank service. Since the establishment of Model Bazaar, the management has taken the services of more than four banks.
Stallholders like me are unable to earn stability due to the casual attitude and manipulative actions of the management. We only have Sundays to run our business as we receive customers from the adjacent Sunday Bazaar.
The management has not put any effort with respect to marketing or promoting the place. It turns the power off during rains and hardly changes the filters of water-coolers. The condition of washrooms is pathetic.
High inflation has affected customers and shopkeepers equally. Those who have enough money run grocery shops in such bazaars and are also given shops for storage, but other ordinary stallholders are left to suffer.
The provincial chief minister and other relevant authorities need to intervene and maintain the rent of stalls at the old rate of Rs3,500. The stallholders are poor people and need relief to run their businesses. The government should help them and stop the management from increasing the rent time and again.