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KARACHI: Industrialists and traders community has appealed to the federal government to reconsider the Eidul Fitr holidays decision, saying that steps are needed to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic, but that the interests of industrialists must also be taken into account while formulating rules and regulations.

President of Federal B Area Association of Trade and Industry (FBATI) Muhammad Ali has expressed concern over the announcement of a five-day Eid holiday and appealed to the federal government to reconsider the decision.

He said that Bangladesh, India and other Muslim countries in the region have not declared holidays for more than three days on Eid. Despite the federal government’s announcement of a lockdown on Eid since May 10, the announcement of Eid holidays till May 15 is incomprehensible, he said, adding that small traders are already worried about the limited shopping hours on Eid and now the long Eid holidays will have a detrimental effect on industrial activities. There will be severe difficulties in completing export orders on time.

Chairman Pakistan Leather Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PLGMEA) Danish Khan has demanded of government to give priority to the opinion of the business community of the country in view of national interest and improvement of the economy. Revoke the existing notification while reviewing the holidays and limit it from May 12-16, he said.

While expressing concern over the Eid holidays, he said that the current dangerous situation and lockdown in Covid-19 could lead to severe economic woes among traders and industrialists, and added that the notification of approved Eid holidays should be reviewed so that the production activities of the export-oriented industrial sector are not affected and the orders of exporters can be completed on time.

Danish Khan said that due to the current pandemic of Covid-19, business activities have also been affected while implementing the proposal imposed by the government. He appealed to the federal and provincial governments to take steps to make the industries fully operational to overcome the current economic crisis.

He said that the prolonged closure of holidays on Eid would have a negative impact on industrial activities and would make it very difficult to achieve export targets. The closure thousands of small and large factories due to the holidays will completely shut down production that would negatively impact industrial and business activities.

Danish Khan said that due to the Eid holidays in the country, Pakistan would face difficulties in fulfilling export orders from European countries including the United States and other countries, which would be detrimental for both the country and the nation.

He said that due to Pakistan getting GSP Plus status, in order to fulfil the export order on time, it was necessary to end the long holidays so that there would be a significant increase in industrial production activities and timely delivery of orders could be made possible. He said the country may face a reduction in government coffers and foreign remittances due to the Eid holidays.

Danish Khan further said that in the current economic situation, long holidays on Eidul Fitr cannot be afforded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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