Centaurus’traders whimper against unprecedented barriers

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 2 (APP): A salesman at any business outlet is trained and
supposed to greet a customer with a smiling face as one walks in, who knows what stress and strain this fascinating job may have for some in reality. Same is the case with the Capital’s most attractive and visited destination, Centaurus Mall, where traders have some serious reservations against its management for imposing unprecedented barriers, challenging the laws of the land.
The Centaurus Mall’s self-styled management, already going through
severe public criticism for charging entry fee targeting only underpriviledged, has created a hostile work environment for its
marketeers, enforcing unusual and self-introduced business rules.
“We are not allowed to form a trade body to convey our
reservations.There is no freedom of expression at all. Doing business here is not as charming as considered,” a salesman at Edenrobe Brand told APP expressing his sentiments requesting anonymity.
Another popular brand owner showing a recent circular issued by the
management said,”We are forced to keep our shops open even on national gazetted holidays and in violation we have to pay heavy amount as penalties in cash and are threatened of expulsion from the Mall”.
A shopkeeper criticising levying of entry fee for students said,
“Students are our ‘Unpaid Advertising Agents’ and this move was affecting our business.” Today’s window shopper is tomorrow’s sure customer and this decision must be revised in the best business interest, he stressed.
A student Ehtisham from Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan
said a father and two brothers are not considered a family, unless they do have a female member with them. Terming it “ridiculous approach” he asked for exemption of entry fee to encourage and facilitate every segment of the society.
An Advocate High Court Hafiz Khurram talking to this scribe said,
freedom of expression is fundamental right enshrined by the Constitution of Pakistan.
“No trade entity can impose rules contrary to the country’s approved and
practiced laws” he remarked.
He however regretted that this kind of practice was being carried out in
the heart of the Federal Capital.
The Mall’s General Manager on traders’ concerns and public queries
said, “There is no morality in personal business”. The entry fee was enforced on receiving complaints of eve-teasing and riff-raff.
” It does not justify the stance.it just conveys that the
underpriviledged are only eve-teaser and riff-raff,” a shopkeeper dealing a low priced items reacted on Manager’s statement.”My business is at stake as lowpaid people are my potential buyers who cannot afford Rs 300 as an entry ticket.” he added.
The General Manager however said, if a shopkeeper has reservations he
can lodge a complaint with the concerned department and their grievances will be heard.
“Business interests must be a priority but enforcing such rules that
hearten class consciousness can make our society a morally bankrupt”, warned a psychologist Sundus.