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KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has urged Sindh government to have mercy on the shopkeepers and small traders of Karachi by allowing them to open businesses during last two days before Eid from Iftar to Sehri so that they could be able to recover some of the grave losses due to restrictions imposed to contain further spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Keeping in view the not so bad number of COVID-19 cases in Karachi, we believe that there is some room available to allow shopkeepers in Karachi to open their businesses at least on Wednesday and Thursday from Iftar to Sehri which would be widely welcomed not only by small traders and shopkeepers but also by a large number of Karachiites who will be able to complete their unfinished shopping for Eid festival," said chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Zubair Motiwala.

Zubair Motiwala pointed out that associations of commercial markets from all over the city have been constantly exerting pressure on KCCI so that the chamber, being the premier and actual representative of the entire business community, could play its role by convincing the Sindh government to allow businesses to keep on operating during the last two days while the representatives of these commercial markets associations have also assured to fully comply with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during these days.

"The government should allow them to keep on running their businesses from Iftar to Sehri during the last two days before Eid which would obviously fragment the public and discourage overcrowding as all the markets in the city will be simultaneously operational, besides ensuring social distancing all the time, which is one of the key elements required for containing further spread of coronavirus", he added.

Keeping in view the overall situation and grievances suffered by small traders and shopkeepers, Chairman BMG hoped that the Sindh government, which has always played the lead role in efficiently rescuing the public from time to time, would provide the desperately needed relief to local businesses this time as well by relaxing the restrictions for just two days from Iftar to Sehri so that the businesses could be saved from further disaster.

President KCCI Shariq Vohra said that it is high time that the Sindh government, being the peoples' government, has to come forward to minimize the hardships being faced by the distressed citizens and the business community of Karachi by ordering to lift restrictions on opening up businesses on Wednesday and Thursday from Iftar to Sehri.

"Due to restrictions imposed in an extraordinary situation, uncertainty prevails and people have become hopeless hence, the Sindh government will have to take steps to deal with the situation by providing relief to Karachiites during the last two days before Eid," he added.

Chairman of KCCI's Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon pointed out that many shopkeepers are already going through terrible crises due to limited business activities since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, hence the government must look into the possibility of providing them relief for just two days before Eid by allowing them for businesses from Iftar to Sehri otherwise many businesses will not be able to survive and wipe out forever.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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