20 pc increase in shop rent of KMC owned markets be immediately withdrawn: KCCI

President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik has requested Sindh Minister for Local Government Department Jam Khan Shoro to issue directives to Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) for immediate withdrawal of 20 percent increase in shop rent of KMC owned markets announced last year which appeared in the Challans of January 2018. In a letter issued to Jam Khan Shoro, President KCCI pointed out that hundreds of Small Traders/ Shopkeepers whose business units/ shops are situated in 91 markets owned by KMC approached Chairman of KCCI’s Special Committee for Small Traders Abdul Majeed Memon so that the Karachi Chamber could take up this serious issue with concerned quarters as their shop rent has been raised exorbitantly.

President KCCI informed that in 2007, the then Mayor Karachi increased the shop rent by 50 percent while the transfer fee was also enhanced from Rs.5,000 to 25,000 and it was assured that the transfer fee and rent will not be increased further. However, KMC once again raised shops rent by 15 to 35 percent in 2015 which was followed by another 20 percent hike in 2017, making it impossible for majority of the shopkeepers to pay such an exorbitant rent.

Muffasar Malik, while requesting to withdraw 20 percent increase in shop rent, suggested that the shop rent should only be increased by 5 percent which should be applicable from January 2018 and this rent should be increased again by 5 percent after an interval of at least 3 years.

President KCCI said that it has always been one of the top priorities of Karachi Chamber to pay special attention to the issues being suffered by Small Traders/ Shopkeepers of the city as we firmly believe that these small traders are undoubtedly the backbone of our country.

“KCCI leaves no stone unturned to resolve the issues of Small Traders/ Shopkeepers keeping in view the massive number of employment opportunities being generated by them and also their contribution towards the economic development of the country”, he added.

Keeping in view the support and cooperation being extended by Sindh Government to the business and industrial community from time to time, President KCCI was fairly optimistic that Sindh Minister for Local Government would certainly pay special attention to this issue and direct concerned officials to provide relief to perturbed small traders/ shopkeepers.

“Many of these shops at KMC markets are being run by those individuals who are vegetable & fruit sellers, cobblers, newspaper hawkers, carpenters, welders and motor mechanics etc. who simply are not in a position to pay such an exorbitant rent because of their limited earnings and they are hardly able to earn their daily bread and butter. Hence, the government should act sensibly and refrain from creating further hardships for them as they are already overburdened in the ongoing era of inflation”, he added.

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