Business community of entire country demands reconsideration of NCOC decision for closing businesses by 6 pm

Islamabad : President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the National Command Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to close normal businesses by 6:00 pm during the month of Ramadan, but the business community of entire country was not satisfied with the decision and urged that the government should reconsider it to save businesses from further losses. He said that Ramadan was a peak season for shopping due to Eid, but shortening the timings for businesses would have an adverse effect on business activities. He said that reduced hours for businesses would cause more rush in markets which would lead to further spread of Covid-19. He emphasized that the government should give a second thought to this decision and allow businesses to remain open until 10 to 12 pm in Ramadan. He further said that before taking any decision that has a direct impact on businesses, the major chambers of commerce and trade bodies should be taken fully on board and the practice of taking unilateral decisions should be avoided at all cost as such decisions always lead to detrimental consequences for business and economy. Without a financial relief package in place or any form of reprieve from FBR several businesses were likely to declare bankruptcy rendering thousands of people jobless.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the third wave of coronavirus was all over the world but in nearly all countries, the businesses were operating with SOPs at normal timings. He said that reducing hours for business activities in a country like Pakistan would certainly be very harmful for our economy. He said that the previous lockdowns had already taken a heavy toll on the businesses pushing many of them to the verge of closure while thousands of workers were rendered jobless. Therefore, instead of reducing the timings for businesses, the government should take measures to ensure strict implementation of SOPs in markets and allow all businesses to operate at normal timings. It would help in controlling unemployment and saving the economy from further contraction.

President ICCI said that hundreds and thousands of passengers were travelling in airlines within a closed environment where meals were also being served. All markets, malls, restaurants, cinemas and family festivals were open in U.A.E. Malls and markets were also open with normal timings in the UK, therefore why Pakistan was creating difficulties for businesses.

The ICCI President also called on the business community to fully support the government in controlling the third wave of coronavirus by ensuring strict implementation of SOPs. He said that masks should be made mandatory for those working in shops and no customer should be allowed to enter the business premises without a mask. He said that measures should be taken to avoid rush at business premises, hand sanitizers should be kept ready at business places and social distancing should be maintained. He was of the view that only by implementing the SOPs can the Covid-19 pandemic be controlled and businesses can be run at normal timings.