LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Tariq Misbah noted on Wednesday that marriage halls contribute substantially to the GDP of Pakistan, and their closure impacts more than 50 allied industries, including poultry, rice, meat, cooking oil, flour, fruits/vegetables, crockery, clothing, shoes, cosmetics, decoration, furniture, electronics/lighting, photography, wedding cards and jewellery etc.
“Around 20pc revenues of Punjab’s food industry are cognizant upon the operations of marriage halls. Therefore, the government must reconsider its decision to close marriage halls from 20th November,” the LCCI president said during a meeting with representatives of the Marriage Halls Association.
While appreciating the steps taken by government to facilitate the businesses during the outbreak of coronavirus, Misbah highlighted the plight of marriage halls, which had been adversely impacted by the lockdown and the consequent economic slowdown in recent times.
“Banquet halls industry have suffered a lot due to the previous six-month lockdown, so the government should now facilitate them by waiving off rents of banquet halls and marquees built on government and semi-government land for seven months, besides compensating the rents of private banquet halls and marquees,” he stated. “Their property taxes should be waived for at least a year and they should be given two-year exemption in PRA sales tax.”
The delegation members maintained that no case of Covid-19 was reported in marriage halls due to the strict SOPs implementation.
LCCI former senior vice president Ali Hussam Asghar, executive committee member Mardan Ali Zaidi and Marriage Halls Association General Secretary Malik Aqeel were also present on the occasion.