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Posted On: 18 February 2009 08:29 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Corner shops get reprieve

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The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning has granted corner shops and convenience stores an extension until July 5, 2010 by which they should close down their businesses, says a report published in the local Arabic daily Al-Sharq. Gulf Times had earlier reported that these shops were established on the basis of a special procedure known as the ‘Emiri Grant’ as a boost to the low-income groups many years ago. They are due to expire next month. Members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) had recently unanimously pleaded for either extension of the commercial licences or grant adequate compensation to their owners as was done in the case of abolition of the orange-and-white taxis after the establishment of the Mowasalat Company. Among the points mentioned by the CMC members in favour of retaining these outlets was that they were necessary and indispensable for every residential area because they provide vital services such as supplying of groceries, fruits and vegetables besides ironing of clothes and house cleaning and repairing of gadgets. The owners of these outlets will have no other means of livelihood if their businesses are closed down and it will cause great hardship for them and their families in their respective home countries. There are several hundreds of these outlets in each district of Doha and the outskirts. Their closure will not only mean loss of livelihood for the owners and their helpers but also cause great inconvenience to the residents. While acceding to the principle of urban development on a new pattern on the basis of which Doha has witnessed major changes in its landmarks in recent months the members reiterated the point that it will a very harsh decision against these low income group people.