Apr 01, 2020: President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Muhammad Ahmed Waheed on Wednesday emphasized to evolve a comprehensive strategy for mitigating the business loses, during the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
Due to coronavirus, the business community all over the country has adopted all necessary measures as directed by the government to control the pandemic, he told APP here.
The president ICCI informed that due to coronavirus issue, businesses and industrial units had been closed, but they had to pay the monthly commercial bills of gas and electricity, which was adding to their difficulties.
He also appealed to the government that receipt of commercial bills of gas and electricity from business and industry should be deferred for few months so that business community could be able to cope with the current crisis.
Ahmed further said that if deferment of receipt of utility bills was not possible, business community should be allowed to pay monthly commercial bills in three installments till the time the COVID-19 epidemic issue was over.
He said that whole of the country including the federal capital was in lockdown situation due to which markets and industrial units were closed.
However, the business community had to pay wages of workers and meet day to day expenses as well, he added.
He said that all the industries under his chamber had retained their employees on jobs as per direction of ICCI adding “We will pay all their dues and salaries in this crisis.”
The president said that in these circumstances, deferring the receipt of commercial bills of gas and electricity for few months or allowing them to pay monthly bills in 3 installments would provide significant relief to the business community.
Replying to question, he said that despite closure of industrial activities, industrialists had to pay mark up of banks on daily basis, which was putting more pressure on them.
He urged the government to issue directions to commercial banks to immediately defer the receipt of mark up from industrialists for few months to save the industry from further troubles.
Ahmed Waheed said that in these difficult circumstances, instead of earning profits, banks should realize the problems of industry and freeze the receipt of their mark up for few months to save the industrial units from closure.
He said that all the commercial and public sector banks were earning huge profit during good days and in recent critical situation, the government must give directions to these banks to provide maximum relief to the local business community.