Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that our economy is already in dire straits and the government has decided to close markets in Islamabad by 9 pm that would badly affect the business activities and thwart all efforts to improve the economic situation of the country.
He called upon the government to withdraw its decision immediately and allow businesses to remain open till 11 pm in order to save the business community from further troubles.
He said this while addressing a dinner reception hosted by Muhammad Naveed Malik, Secretary General, Traders Welfare Association, G-7/1 Market, Islamabad. Jamshed Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President, Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI, Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi & Basir Daud former Presidents, Muhammad Naveed Malik, Ashfaq Hussain Chatha, Najeeb Malik, Ch. Tahir, Engr. Faheem, Imran Minhas, Umer Sadiq, Shazia Rizwan, Nageena Khaleeq, Safeena Shah and others were present on the occasion.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that Eid ul Azha was round the corner, which is a peak season for business activities as people have to do Eid shopping along with families.
However, the closure of markets by 9:00 pm would create great problems for people doing Eid shopping. He further said that in the summer season, people normally go to the markets and bazaars for shopping in the evening hours due to which business activities reach peak level from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. He said that closing the businesses during peak hours will not only cause problems for the customers, it will also cause losses to the business community.
He suggested that instead of shutting down business at 9 pm, the government should keep power outages in markets from 9 am to 10 pm but allow business activities to run till 11:00 pm. He said that the business community is ready to cooperate with the government in steering the country out of its current predicament and make joint efforts to strengthen Pakistan’s economy. However, they needed government support to run the business activities
Speaking at the occasion, Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President and Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI said that in the current turbulent economic situation, closing down businesses early is not good for the economy. They said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have already shrunk to alarming levels while the rupee has depreciated to Rs.210 per dollar and our exports are far below the actual potential. These difficult circumstances demand that the government should focus on promoting ease of
doing business so that business activities could flourish and the economy could come out of difficulties. However, instead of creating a conducive environment for businesses, the government is taking steps that will further affect business activities. They stressed that the decision should be reviewed and the businesses should be allowed to remain open till 11 pm.