Business Community opposes new restrictions on businesses

  • March 15, 2021
The business community of the federal capital during a press conference at the National Press Club, Islamabad has strongly opposed the new restrictions imposed on businesses and called upon the government to withdraw them immediately to save the businesses from further losses.
Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) appreciated the role of DC ICT Hamza Shafqaat and his team for playing a frontline role against the spread of Covid-19 and cooperating with business community in running business activities. However, he expressed concerns over the new guidelines of NCOC for new restrictions due to which the ICT Administration has issued a new notification to close all commercial activities, establishments, markets and amusement parks on Saturday and Sunday except for essential services. He said that this decision would badly hit the businesses that were already struggling for revival due to previous lockdowns. He said that in these tough times, businesses needed relief measures from the government in taxes, interest rates, loans and utility charges, but instead of providing any relief, the government was taking measures that would put businesses into deep troubles.
ICCI President said that the customers normally do shopping on weekends due to not finding time on working days. However, closing businesses on Saturday and Sunday will not only create problems for customers, it would also cause more rush in markets on other days and lead to further increase in the Covid-19 pandemic cases. Therefore, he urged that businesses should be allowed to remain open on weekends to avoid rush and curb the spread of coronavirus. He emphasized that instead of closing businesses on weekends, ICT Administration should focus on enforcement of SOPs and assured that the business community would fully cooperate with it in implementation of SOPs while running business activities. He also appealed to the traders not to allow entry to any customer in shops without a mask.
Ajmal Baloch, President, All-Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tijaran said that due to previous lockdowns and restrictions, businesses have already suffered huge losses while the government has not provided any compensation to them. They said the closure of businesses would render thousands of people jobless, therefore, new restrictions should be withdrawn.
Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI and the Presidents of various Market Associations of Blue Area, Super Market, Jinnah Super, F-10 and G-9 and others including Yousaf Rajput, Ahmed Khan, Asad Aziz, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Raja Javed Iqbal, Khalid Chaudhry also spoke at the occasion and said that the new restrictions would create a lot of problems for them besides causing them great losses. Therefore, they urged that the ICT Administration should allow businesses to run on weekends. They said that the government should form a new strategy against Covid-19 pandemic by taking the business community fully on board and assured that they would fully cooperate with the ICT Administration in implementation of SOPs to curb the outbreak of coronavirus, therefore, no new restrictions should be imposed on businesses.