Businessmen have requested the government of Sindh to allow opening of business on Friday, August 13 and August 20 due to prolonged breaks which will fall in this week and next.

In a statement on Thursday, officials from the Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA) appealed to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to allow business to operate for the next two Fridays citing that holidays for Independence Day and Ashura will also be observed over next few days. They stressed that such a move would help alleviate the economic losses borne on account of coronavirus pandemic. In the appeal, PYMA Senior Vice Chairman Hanif Lakhany highlighted that the provincial government had issued orders demanding closure of businesses on Fridays and Sundays every week to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He expressed concern that businesses would be closed for three days this week because Independence Day is falling on Saturday. “The business activities will be suspended for three consecutive days which will not be in favour of the economy considering the current circumstances,” he said.

He also called upon the leadership to help businesses and industry so they could emerge stronger from the economic crisis. He was of the view that fulfilling this demand will gradually revive and strengthen business activities and aid traders to meet deadlines for export orders. Echoing his views, Old City Tajir Ittehad President SM Alam also requested the provincial leadership to allow opening of business on Friday August 13 and August 20, 2021 while keeping the holidays in view.

He emphasised that allowing the businesses to function on these two days would safeguard traders from losses. Tariq Road Trade Alliance President Ilyas Memon pointed out that traders had already suffered mammoth losses due to multiple lockdowns imposed to contain the outbreak of the pandemic. He further urged the government of Sindh to consider the request of traders. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Central Standing Committee on Yarn Trading convener Farhan Ashrafi added that holidays for Muharram were falling on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2021.

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