The Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and declared a relief package of Rs 5 billion for all the victims of massive fire at Lahore’s Hafeez Center.
The CM Punjab Buzdar added that with the association of Punjab Bank, the government is providing loans to 207 traders who were affected by the fire to assist them in order to restart their business activities.
Rs 1.6 billion in the form of subsidy will be provided against loan markup. The Bank of Punjab will be offering finances at a 3% of markup. Buzdar said the BOP has also offered the traders 135 shops (owned by the bank) at its IT Tower, Lahore on affordable terms.
Without any further delay, Punjab Bank has already begun their operation and started working on providing loans to the sufferers at the camp office in the IT tower. Through bank loans as relief, the traders Hafeez Center will be able to purchase new shops, renovate shops, constructand purchase materials for their shop to run business.
Currently, Hafeez Center is temporarily closed for the inspection process is underway to make sure the safety of the building. Many traders who were working in the Hafeez Center have shifted their businesses to other centers. Many traders are adamant to move back to Hafeez Center once the building is cleared by the authorities and declared safe for business.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that traders who shifted their business to other centers have complained to the local authorities regarding the high demand of rents by nearby shopping plazas. Many traders demanded from the officials to open Hafeez Center again so that they can resume their operations.
On 18 October, in the wee hours of Sunday, a huge fire erupted at Hafeez Center, an IT Hub located in the center of the City, which engulfed at least 500 shops out of more than 1,000 shops and godowns.