Advisor to the PM on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, has appreciated the role that 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.
This was expressed in a video conference with members of the Chainstore Owners Association of Pakistan (CAP) with the Advisor to the PM on Commerce.
Dawood stated that 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 the development of the sector.
The participants were Mr. Asad Shafi, M/s Shiekhupura Textile Mills Ltd (Cross Stich); Mr. S.M. Nabeel, M/s Din Industries (Ltd) (By the Way-BTW); Mr. Asfandyar Farrukh, M/s Urban Brands (HUB); Rana Tariq Mehboob, M/s Rana Trading Co. (Royal Tag); and Mr. Wasif Sikandar Butt, M/s Mari B-Designs (Pvt) Ltd (Maria B).
The wholesale and retail sector is one of the largest domestic commerce sectors in the GDP and employs 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, the advisor assured all-out support to the sector and asked the association to come up with a workable strategy and share their input on SBP’s schemes for a loan to the business.
The possibility of including the organized retail sector in the relief, in respect of utilities, was also discussed. Members of the association briefly informed the advisor about the organized retail sector and the Chainstore Association of Pakistan, which was termed the largest representative body of organized retail business (Tier 1 Retailers), and their contribution to the national economy.
They highlighted the problems and challenges being faced by them amidst of 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 the retail business.
The association members were of the view that these issues, if resolved, could assist the government in the documentation of 19% of the GDP, its supply chain and workforce, besides phenomenally increasing the government’s revenue. The advisor assured that the issues will be taken up on the highest forum and resolved on priority.