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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have urged the government to address the grievances of marriage halls and caterers as closure of these sectors has put the investment of billions on stakes.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Marriage Halls Association and Caterers at the Lahore Chamber on Tuesday. President Lahore Marriage Hall Association, Mian Ilyas, Convener LCCI Standing Committee Junaid Ahmad Zia were also present in the meeting.

On the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah assured that the recommendations of the delegation will be forwarded to National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to get the marriage halls opened. He said that Covid-19 vaccination center has been established at the LCCI. Owners of marriage halls should get their staff vaccinated from this center.

The LCCI chief said that Covid ratio in Lahore has been declined to 1 percent only. The outdoor events are not possible due to hot weather, therefore marriage halls should be allowed to open immediately as this is the only sector which remained closed since long.

The participants of the meeting said that the government should open the marriage halls immediately to salvage various associated industries and jobs of millions of workers. They said that closure of marriage halls is a big blow to this industry and has also put the employment of millions and investment of billions on stake. "It would be a chain reaction as more than 50 allied industries would be affected badly therefore, the government should open marriage halls immediately in the larger interest of economy," they demanded.

They said that the marriage halls sector contributes substantially to the GDP of Pakistan. Closure of banquet halls and marquees impacts various industries including poultry, rice, meat, cooking oil, flour, fruits/vegetables, crockery, clothing, shoes, cosmetics, decoration, furniture, electronics/lighting, photography, wedding cards and jewellery etc.

They said that the marriage halls sector has been adversely impacted by the lockdown and the consequent economic slowdown in recent times. They said that the banquet halls industry has suffered a lot due to the long lockdown and now they should be allowed to work with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the government should facilitate.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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