Traders warn of shutter down strike if new rent law not passed

ISLAMABAD: Traders in the shopping hubs of the capital were ready to shut shops if their demand for a new rent law was not met.

The current rental laws give too much power to the landlords, who, according to the traders, evict shopkeepers unceremoniously once the business starts running and giving profit.

The Traders Welfare Sub-Committee of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) called a meeting of traders to discuss the issue of promulgation of a new rent control law for Islamabad as due to its absence traders were facing many problems. The meeting was attended by the representatives of various local markets.

ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said that the local traders have announced to observe complete shutter down strike in Islamabad from January 23, if the amended bill of new rent control act for Islamabad was not passed by the parliament.

The parliament better pass the bill before the deadline of the traders to resolve this longstanding issue once for all. He assured that ICCI would fully support all efforts aimed at protecting the genuine rights of the traders.

He said that an amended bill of rent control law was presented in the national assembly while the local administration has also returned it to the NA after its vetting, but it was unfortunate that the said bill has not been passed into law as yet. They appealed to the government to pay urgent attention to this important issue of traders and get the bill passed from the parliament to save Islamabad from further troubles.

Waheed said due to absence of new rent law, forced evictions of traders from shops were on the rise in Islamabad due to which trading community was feeling insecure about its future.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Mirza said that traders have been demanding a new rent law since long, but government was paying no attention to their genuine demand which demonstrated its lukewarm approach towards resolving the key issues of traders.

ICCI Traders Welfare Sub-Committee Chairman Khalid Chaudhry said bill of a balanced rent control act was presented by PTI MNA Asad Umar and PML-N MNA Abdul Manan in the National Assembly long time ago. But the said bill was not passed into law as yet which showed that government was not interested in resolving issues of traders. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2018.

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