Punjab government has threatened to re-impose a lockdown if the businesses continue to flout SOPs issued by the government as a part of easing the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Provincial Minister for Industries and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal said that actions of traders are undermining the efforts made by the government to curb the Coronavirus outbreak.
If traders continue to disregard the SOPs agreed on before easing the lockdown, Punjab government won’t think twice about re-imposing the lockdown. This time around, however, the lockdown will be stricter than the previous one, said the minister.
Mian Aslam Iqbal said that Lahore has become the epicenter of the coronavirus in Punjab and local transmission of COVID-19 is on the rise all over the country. Traders must demonstrate a sense of responsibility to avoid the re-imposition of the lockdown.
Government eased lockdown restrictions keeping in view the economic situation of the traders. But trader community has failed to live up to the expectations of the government.
Responding to Mian Aslam Iqbal, General Secretary Anjuman-e-Tajran Lahore, Naeem Mir, demanded that the government must allow businesses to operate beyond 5 PM as well. Closing businesses at 5 PM might be suitable for wholesale markets but this restriction isn’t viable for retail markets especially with Eid approaching.
The General Secretary further added that the Punjab government should notify the formation of police-traders liaison committees as agreed before lifting the lockdown restrictions. Once formed, the liaison committees will be empowered to take action against the violations of the SOPs issued by the government.