LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder has said that human and economic factors were ignored by the government while launching its anti-encroachment drive and so the operation must be reviewed.
In his letter to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday, he said that the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in Shahalami Market was depriving people of their jobs, besides resulting in a loss of capital.
Hyder said that the government had started the anti-encroachment drive which was always welcome but it was being continued while completely disregarding human and economic cost being paid by genuine businesses.
“Before such a step, the government should have planned and provided alternate sites to the affectees of this drive,” he further said and added that the move had also resulted in discontentment among the affected traders.
The LCCI president said that the difficult situation had not risen in a day and there had been a callous disregard of rules and regulations by the previous government over the past 10 years whereby unscrupulous elements were allowed to build and sell properties.
“No government official has been taken to task for allowing such a situation, while honest tax paying businesses are bearing the brunt.”
He demanded compensation for the affected businesses built on land where proper registries were executed and taxes were paid, while also suggesting that vacant area near Ring Road may be zoned for commercial purposes.
“All the affectees may be allowed to purchase land and build their shops/offices there.”
This zoning, he said, would reduce pressure within the city and also allow for expansion of economic activities.