Business community warns against reducing timings for markets

  • November 25, 2020
The business community in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry have warned against any move of the government to reduce the timings for markets and commercial centres as it would be destructive for the business activities and prove more harmful for the overall economy by making several businesses file for bankruptcy. They said that Sindh has reduced timings for markets up to 6:00 pm, but it was not acceptable for the business community of the province as it would cause them great business loss. They said that no such move should be considered for Islamabad to save the businesses from further losses.
Chairing the meeting, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Indus try said that the prolonged lockdowns and early closure of businesses over the past few months due to Covid-19 pandemic has destroyed many businesses and rendered hundreds of people jobless and cautioned that any further lockdown in markets or early closure of businesses would create more problems for the business community and lead to harmful consequences for the economy. He said that many members of the business community were facing great problems in payment of rents, utility bills, salaries, taxes and loans as they were still struggling for the revival of businesses after the lockdowns. He called upon the government to take measures for strong enforcement of SOPs in markets and commercial centres to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic instead of considering early closure of businesses. He said that on the one hand, catering services were allowed in aircrafts in closed environment, but ont the other hand, restaurants were banned from indoor serving of customers, which was not justified.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that reducing business timings would create more rush in markets leading to further problems for the traders and customers. He said that in order to reduce rush in markets and commercial centres, the government should further enhance the timings for opening and closing of businesses so that people could do shopping as per their convenience. He said that despite suffering great losses over the past few months, the business community of the federal capital had extended full cooperation to the local administration in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic and would cooperate with the government this time as well to implement sops for preventing the spread of Covid-19. He also emphasized upon the business community to act on the policy of No Mask No Entry in their businesses to help the government in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms. Fatma Azim Senior Vice President and Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President ICCI said that the government has banned indoor functions in restaurants and wedding halls/marquees, which was affecting these businesses and would render over 10,000 workers jobless. They appealed to the government to allow restaurants, wedding halls and marquees to open one side and hold indoor functions in order to control the outbreak of coronavirus. They also appealed to the masses to wear masks while visiting the markets as their cooperation was very important in keeping the Covid-19 pandemic under control.