ICCI concerned over forced evictions of traders in capital


ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Sheikh Amir Waheed on Friday showed concern over the rising incidents of forced evictions of traders from shops, saying these incidents have created insecurity among the trading community regarding the future of their businesses.

Waheed called upon the government to ensure early promulgation of a rent control act in the federal capital to curb such unfortunate incidents from happening in the future.

He said the recent incidents of forced evictions from shops in Aabpara Market and I-10 Markaz have disturbed the peace of the traders. He said the absence of rent control law in the capital was the major cause of rising rent disputes and forced evictions of traders, and emphasised that the government should pay urgent attention to this serious issue.

The ICCI president further said that the prime minister, during a meeting with local traders in the recent past, had assured them that a new rent law would be promulgated in the federal capital soon, adding that no visible progress was made to resolve this issue so far.

He also said that an amended bill of rent restriction law for the capital was pending in the National Assembly since long and urged that the government should ensure its early passage into law from the parliament to resolve this serious issue once for all.

Moreover, Waheed said that incidents of forced evictions from shops were badly affecting the business activities and the only solution to this problem was to promulgate the new rent law at the earliest.

ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed said that in consultation with all stakeholders, an amended bill of rent control act for the federal capital was prepared and was presented in the National Assembly a long time ago. However, no action had been taken so far to pass the said bill into law, and the delay in its enactment was creating frustrations among traders, he added.

He said that on the assurance of the prime minister, the traders of the capital had postponed their planned strike, adding that the government should fulfill its pledge to the traders.