ICCI for keeping businesses open with strong enforcement of SOPs
Islamabad : Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the business community of the federal capital and ICCI were on the same page on all important issues but the ICT Administration had issued a notification in line with the guidelines of NCOC to close businesses for two days a week without taking them into confidence, which had created problems for all trade bodies. However, ICCI immediately convened a meeting of all market associations of Islamabad in coordination with Khalid Chaudhry, Convener of its Traders Sub Committee to finalize new schedule for closure of businesses in the federal capital. He said the representatives of all market associations in the said meeting had stressed that if absolutely necessary the businesses should be closed only for one day in a week and if it was inevitable to close them, some markets should be closed on Friday and Saturday whilst others should be closed on Saturday and Sunday and this arrangement should continue up to April 11, 2021 only. He said that the ICCI had proposed a complete new schedule for business closure in Islamabad to the ICT Administration based on the input of the business community with the consensus of all the stakeholders of Islamabad. Subsequently the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad has issued a revised program to close markets in Islamabad for two days a week as per the proposed schedule of ICCI. President ICCI thanked the district administration and the Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat for considering the proposed schedule of ICCI and issuing a revised notification accordingly for markets closures. This schedule would balance the footfall within the Capital and would also allow businesses to survive during these difficult times. He hoped that the ICT Administration would continue to take care of the interests of the business community in the future as well and would take all important business decisions in consultation with ICCI.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the month of Ramadan was around the corner and business activities of some sectors achieved better growth due to Ramadan & Eid. He said that the businesses were already in trouble due to Covid-19 pandemic, while the third wave of coronavirus has created new problems. He, therefore, urged that businesses should be allowed to continue with strong enforcement of SOPs in order to save them from further losses. He also stressed upon the business community to ensure full implementation of SOPs during business hours and not allow entry to any customer in business premises without mask while main social distancing in business places during rush hours. He said that our economy was already in trouble, therefore, closing businesses in such circumstances was not a wise approach. He said that the best way to fight the pandemic and keep businesses running was to make wearing of mask mandatory for everyone.
The ICCI President thanked the office bearers of all market associations for their full cooperation with the Chamber on the issue of business closure and hoped that they would continue to extend the same kind of cooperation to ICCI in future as well.