PESHAWAR: The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) has started providing assistance to the war-affected traders of tehsil Bara, Khyber district on Wednesday.
The relief package has been provided in the form of goods which traders will sell in their shops in Bara Bazaar. A total of 27 traders were provided assistance in Bara while other traders will be also be provided soon.
Head of Bara traders association Said Wazir told TNN that each trader was provided trading goods from one to eight lakh rupees. He added the Smeda has conducted the survey three months back and shortlisted 65 traders for immediate assistance out of which a total of 27 traders was provided assistance today while other traders will be provided soon.
The trader said that other applications are also under consideration and another survey will also be conducted and thus more war-affected traders will be compensated by the Smeda. Syed Ayaz said that in Bara Bazar, there are more than 12000 shops that were completely destroyed due to the war and all the traders were migrated to other parts of the province. In 2016, though the provincial government has reopened the Bara Bazar, however, most traders could not restore their businesses due to unavailability of resources.
Syed Ayaz revealed that out of 12000 only 5000 traders have submitted applications for Smeda assistance program as most traders were unaware of the scheme as it was not properly advertised that is why most of the traders left to submit applications for the assistance.
The trader complained that Smeda has provided more assistance to the traders in other districts adding that from 2012-13, Smeda has provided up to Rs 2.5 million assistance to each trader in other tribal districts. He added that Bara was the worst affected market there is a need to provide more compensation to revive the business activities. Syed Ayaz thanked TNN for highlighting issues of Bara traders community.