Social, Economic Chaos Over COVID-19: Razak Dawood Assures Support to Wholesale, Retail Sectors

The Adviser to the PM on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, has appreciated the role that the chain stores and Tier 1 retailers play in the national economy, especially in a crisis situation, and acknowledged the hardships being faced by the sector in the ongoing pandemic crisis.

The adviser was praising the members of the Chainstore Owners Association of Pakistan via a video conference on Wednesday. The meeting was being held in connection with the role that the chain store owners could play in mitigating the impact of COVID-19, and to discuss the future roadmap for development of the sector.

The participants included Asad Shafi, M/s Shiekhupura Textile Mills Ltd (Cross Stitch); S.M. Nabeel, M/s Din Industries (Ltd) (By the Way-BTW); Asfandyar Farrukh, M/s Urban Brands (HUB); Rana Tariq Mehboob, M/s Rana Trading Co. (Royal Tag); and Wasif Sikandar Butt, M/s Maria B-Designs (Pvt) Ltd (Maria B). The wholesale and retail sector is one of the largest domestic commerce sectors in terms of GDP growth and employs some 9.21 million people, which constitutes 14.92 percent of the total labor force.

While enumerating the steps taken by the government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the domestic commerce and local industry, Dawood assured all-out support to the sector and asked the association to come up with workable strategy and share their input on SBP’s schemes for loan to the business. The possibility of including organized retail sector in the relief given in respect of utilities was also discussed.

The members of the association highlighted the problems and challenges being faced by them amidst of the COVID -19 pandemic.

Grave apprehensions were expressed over the prevailing state of affairs given the social and economic chaos created by the ongoing pandemic across the world, which has decimated the world economy, rendering millions of workers jobless, particularly in retail business.

The association members were of the view that these issues, if resolved, could assist the government in the documentation of the 19pc of the GDP, its supply chain and workforce, besides phenomenally increasing the government’s revenue. The adviser assured that the issues will be taken up on the highest forum and resolved on priority

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