RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Saboor Malik has urged government to ease lock-down and provide a way to open all businesses under strict SOPs.
Pakistan’s economy cannot afford a complete lockdown, nor can it survive mass infections due to its overburdened healthcare system. An out of the box solution can be opted to open businesses on alternate bases either via limited working hours or geo location base, said Saboor Malik while addressing 8th executive committee meeting at Chamber house.
He said that business community has lauded Punjab Government’s recent steps and consultations with respect to partial lock-down aiming to open businesses. We consider recommendations prepared by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar regarding opening of business as encouraging one, he added.
RCCI had already sent letters to CM Punjab, Provincial Minister for Industry, Minister for Commerce Razzaq Dawood, Minister for Planning Asad Umar and Minister for Industry and Production Hamad Azhar regarding the Corona epidemic and lockdown where we demanded that all businesses be allowed to open with strict implementation of SOPs.
He said that the Chamber is already in touch with Commissioner Rawalpindi Mahmood Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Haq, RPO Rawalpindi Sohail Habib Tajik and other representatives on a daily basis and actively consulting on opening of businesses and devising SOPs.
“If the government consults with stakeholders, we will suggest better solutions,” he said. He assured that the business community would follow the government SOPs.
RCCI President Saboor Malik said that in the current crisis, the government should announce special incentives for the business community, come up with a long-term relief plan, and consult with stakeholders. He suggested that different working hours could be set for people involved in many businesses, such as wholesale.
The President of the Chamber Saboor Malik said that the present situation is extraordinary. Special and extraordinary measures are required in such given situations. He said that it was already too late and there was a fear of further rise in unemployment. The government should immediately allow opening of all kinds of businesses with SOPs.