Business Owners Criticize PM Shehbaz for Announcing Sudden Holiday for 28 May

Business leaders have criticized Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s decision to declare an “unnecessary and abrupt” public holiday for Youm-e-Takbir, citing its detrimental impact on businesses and the national economy. They argue that the sudden additional holiday disrupts scheduled deals and meetings, amplifying its negative effects.

In their comments to The Express Tribune, business representatives noted that many transactions were nearing completion when the announcement was made. They suggested that the government should have either canceled the notification or limited the holiday to schools, keeping other government organizations, especially commercial banks, open.

Economic analyst and CEO of Alpha Beta Core, Khurram Schehzad, highlighted the adverse economic impact of additional public holidays. He explained that such disruptions halt commercial activities, with even a single holiday potentially costing the economy $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion annually. The sudden nature of these holidays exacerbates the situation by delaying planned meetings and deals.

Schehzad emphasized the detrimental effects of such holidays on an already inefficient and low-productivity economy, cautioning against further productivity loss in the face of rising population and poverty levels. He called for urgent measures to improve productivity and competitiveness on a global scale.

Muhammad Najib Balagamwala, Chairman of Seatrade Group of Companies, likened the additional holidays to those on Eid, accusing politicians and bureaucrats of damaging the economy. He criticized their lack of productivity and engagement in trivial activities, stressing the negative impact on the economy.

Nabi Bux Sathio, Senior Vice President of the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), also condemned the holiday as pointless. He criticized government officials for neglecting their duties, which he argued disrespected taxpayers and disrupted essential services like surgeries in public hospitals and legal proceedings in courts. Sathio stressed the widespread negative consequences of such decisions across various sectors.

Sathio further suggested that the prime minister’s efforts would be better appreciated if focused on preventing power outages, particularly during extreme heat. He highlighted the misery caused by frequent power fluctuations and outages, especially in Sindh and other regions.

Ismail Suttar, President of the Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Founding Chairman of the Salt Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (SMAP) acknowledged the significance of Youm-e-Takbir but argued that the country cannot afford additional holidays that disrupt the private and banking sectors. He stressed the urgency of addressing economic challenges and warned that excessive holidays could hasten the nation’s descent into economic crisis, given the declining exports and delayed inflow of dollars.

  • I wish Supreme Court takes notice and stop these idiots not thinking of cost to near bankrupt country.

  • I am a private business owner providing IT export services to international companies. Everyone in the world is open and using working hours for productivity. Whereas, all govt machinery and private sector is closed doing nothing good with their time. Eventually govt is already in losses so they will just increase tax to get paid by already burdened people.
    People of Pakistan, I hope you have enjoyed your holiday because you will pay for it later, either in terms of increased petrol or electricity tariff or xyz. What angers me is that these useless govt institutions are sitting at home while we are paying for their salaries!!!

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