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Thursday, May 23, 2024

This shop in Sheikhupura now has a rent of Rs1.25 billion per month!!

Mr. Bhatti, who holds this shop now said, “is our ancestral shop”, adding,” Moreover, we have a store to keep warehouses at the back of the shop.”

In a rare battle for a 10 by 10 shop, the monthly rent for a shop went up to Rs1.25 billion. That is 1 Arab 25 crore in Pakistani financial standards. This is not for a shop in Karachi, or Islamabad, or even MM Alam Road in Lahore, but this shop is in Sheikhupura, a city towards North-West of Lahore, famous for its Hiran Minar and so much more.

According to the national and international media reports the shop known as ‘Gulshan Crockery’, would fetch a monthly rent of Rs 22,000 but as the auction began for the shop, two interested groups locked horns in an attempt to get possession of the shop.

The process of bidding continued, and reportedly after 4 hours, the trader, Zubair Bhatti, who is already in possession of the shop, made the highest-ever bid.

The shops belonging to the local government have been under the custody of traders for years, and the municipal government used to charge them monthly rent.

However, recently, the authority decided to revise the rent, and a public auction was arranged in which the shopkeepers, traders, and business community of the city participated.

According to Mr. Bhatti, who holds the shop said that this shop, “is our ancestral shop”, adding,” Moreover, we have a store to keep warehouses at the back of the shop.”

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When he was asked about the exorbitant monthly rent and how the tenant would manage it, Mr. Bhatti said that he would re-negotiate the amount with the authorities as, “f course the shop was not worth that amount”.

According to national media, shop rents, which are only a few thousand in terms of market value, have been greatly hiked by “fake bids” worth millions based on political squabbles, personal differences, egoism, and jealousy.

A trader told the news agency that it is not business, it is just resentment by opposition to the traders by the rich businessmen who did not care for business and just satisfied their ego.

A trader said according to a Gulf News article, that by offering fake bids, they wanted to destroy the business of poor businessmen.

Apparently, other shops like this went up to Rs5 million monthly rent, still very high according to the traders.

Chief Municipal Officer Ahsan Inayat Sindhu said in case a trader failed to pay the rent amount after winning the bid, he would lose the Rs50,000 (Dh1,183) auction fee paid before the start of the auction as a guarantee.

Such an auction took place after 40 years, and it remains to be seen if people who won bids actually pay the agreed rent for the now very expensive shops in Sheikhupura.

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