Kedah to extend free trading area programme

THE Kedah government is planning to extend the free trading area programme to other districts to help lessen the burden faced by traders who were affected by the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

Its Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the requests were made by other local authorities to allow food operators in their areas to choose their own trading sites at suitable areas.

He said so far, five local councils have implemented the programme starting last Sunday. They are the Alor Setar City Council, Sungai Petani Municipal Council, Langkawi Municipal Council, Kulim Municipal Council and Kubang Pasu Municipal Council.

“We will evaluate the response in these five local authorities and next week, InsyaAllah (God willing), we will allow the other local authorities to do so and the people who want to operate businesses can start making preparations, ” he told reporters after the Kedah Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Darul Aman on Monday.

The programme is modelled after the ‘Free Trading Area’ as announced by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on Nov 11, where Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said DBKL had given permission to the people to operate their stalls or small businesses in any suitable areas around the city beginning last Sunday.

He had said traders should apply for a temporary business licence that would be valid for six months and offered for free on the DBKL website.

The move to provide temporary licences to unemployed residents ensures that poor folk have a way to earn some money to take care of their families and pay bills.

Sanusi said food sellers were required to get typhoid vaccinations before they were allowed to trade in the free trading area.

He also urged the local councils to give leeway to food sellers and fruit sellers to conduct their trade in areas deemed suitable as long as they meet hygiene requirements and do not cause traffic congestion. – Bernama

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