The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has demanded an extension in business hours amid Ramzan and Covid-19 and urged the Government to review its notification to close normal businesses by 6:00 pm during the month of Ramadan.
Mohammad Nasir Mirza, President RCCI, in a statement said that Ramadan is the month that increased the volume of business due to Eid shoppings, but shortening the timings for businesses would have an adverse effect on business activities.
The business community has suffered badly due to COVID-19 and reducing business hours will further add more misery to their sufferings, he added.
He said that reduced hours for businesses would cause more rush in the markets which would lead to further spread of Covid-19.
He proposed that Business hours during Ramadan month shall be extended to 11 pm.
The chambers of commerce and business representative bodies should be taken into full confidence and RCCI has always urged the Government to consult stakeholders while finalizing any trade-related policy.
Mohammad Nasir Mirza said that the third wave of coronavirus is 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 for a country like Pakistan would certainly be very harmful to our economy.
The country’s economy is already going through difficult times and many businesses are on the verge of closure while thousands of workers were rendered jobless.
The government should take measures to ensure strict implementation of SOPs in markets and allow all businesses to operate at normal timings to save them from further losses, he suggested.
He proposed that measures should be taken to avoid a rush at business premises, hand sanitizers should be kept ready at business places and social distancing should be maintained. RCCI is already running a social media awareness campaign on wearing masks and urged its members and trade bodies to strictly observe the SOPs.