Business community would not afford any further lockdown after May 16 – ICCI
Islamabad: Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that to avoid rush, the Saudi government has allowed business activities for 24 hours with strong enforcement of SOPs and same policy should be adopted in Pakistan to save businesses and the economy from further losses. He further called upon the government to avoid any more lockdown after May 16, 2021 as the business community would not afford any further lockdown after the Eid holidays. He said that during a recent visit along with the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad to various markets of the federal capital, it was observed that the majority of the business community and the customers were following SOPs, due to which the trend of Covid-19 cases in Islamabad was on the decline. Therefore, this situation demanded that the government should have relaxed restrictions on businesses in the federal capital during the last week of Ramadan.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that as the Covid-19 situation in Islamabad was much better as compared to many other cities, the businesses of Islamabad should not be treated at par with other cities for imposition of restrictions and emphasized that the business community in the federal capital should be allowed to continue businesses till Sehri during the last week of Ramadan.
ICCI President said that the business community of the entire country had been demanding the government to lift restrictions and extend business hours as they have already suffered huge losses due to the previous lockdowns. However, it was unfortunate that the NCOC was making decisions about restrictions on businesses without any consultations with chambers of commerce and trade associations that were the key stakeholders in such decisions. He said that Pakistan is estimated to have already suffered an economic loss of Rs.2.5 trillion due to coronavirus and emphasized that the government should lift all restrictions on businesses after May 16 as keeping these restrictions for longer duration or imposing further lockdown after Eid would have devastating impact on the businesses and the overall economy.