Small traders seek legislation for separate chambers
LAHORE, Nov 11: All-Pakistan Anjuman Tajran (APAT) General-Secretary Naeem Mir says that small traders hope the National Assembly will take up on Monday (today) a bill regarding the setting up separate chambers for them as the present chambers of commerce and industry do little to resolve their problems.
Mr Mir said in a statement on Sunday the National Assembly Committee on Commerce had approved the draft bill with a consensus and sent it to the house for legislation.
The proposed law will adopt the Trade Organization Ordinance, 2007, that allows separate chambers for small traders.
He said a few thousand industrialists and big traders with a business turnover of over Rs50 million had held sway over the chambers of commerce and industry and used small traders for their causes. He said those tycoons ignored the problems of small businessmen.
Small traders have been struggling for the establishment of chambers for the last three decades and have approached political parties having representation in Parliament to convince them about the importance of the proposed chambers.
Small traders also demand that political parties include the launch of separate chambers for them in their manifestoes. Mr Mir says the party favoring their demand will win the support of traders.
Small traders also opened their ‘unofficial’ chambers in Tando Allahyar last year.
Mir says traders have formed a committee with APAT Chairman Khawaja Shafiq as its head to meet politicians and seek their support.
The proposed law suggests that separate chambers be set up in districts for small traders where the membership reaches 300. At least two women entrepreneurs will be members of its board of directors.
It also contains a clause that allows separate women chambers provided the strength of women entrepreneurs are up to or more than 150.