Business community urges govt to consider reduction in announced Eid holidays

KARACHI: The business community has expressed deep concern over the long Eid holidays and urged the government to consider the reduction in announced holidays.

President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has expressed his displeasure over Public Holidays on account of Eid-ul-Fitr announced by the government without consulting the business community.

He demanded that industries and markets should only be closed for 3 days on account of Eid-ul-Fitr otherwise there will be an irreversible loss to already struggling businesses and a huge shortfall in tax collection will further decelerate the economic activity.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo maintained that ports, customs, and required banking services for them should not even be closed for 3 days during Eid-ul-Fitr as exports are as necessary for the survival of Pakistan as airports and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the President of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, Saleem uz-Zaman said that the trade activities are already severely hampered due to the challenges being faced by Pakistan in the current situation.

Due to the global corona pandemic, all means of benefiting from the export orders received by Pakistan will be wiped out.

Eradication of holiday culture in the country was essential for economic development as it was essential to continue working day and night with a continuation of trade and business activities to make Pakistan an Asian Tiger, he added.

Saleem uz-Zaman said that while the government institutions themselves feel that the country’s revenue is facing a huge deficit due to holidays, the increase in holidays is beyond comprehension.

Chairman, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA), Anjum Zafar opposed the announcement of the government of 10 day holidays, which would ultimately be a complete closure for the leather industry of Pakistan.

Moreover, in the wake of the persistent impact of COVID-19, which is getting severe in comparison with previous months/year, the finished leather industry has already suffered a lot, he said.

The leather industry being the second-biggest export-oriented industry in the country is striving very hard and trying to arrest the declining trend with vigorous efforts of PTA’s members around the country.

They have finalized their export orders for fetching foreign exchange for the national exchequer which will be delayed in delivery and ultimately daily workers would also be deprived of their daily livelihood during unnecessary long holidays announced by the government. He also demanded that industries and markets should only be closed for 3 days on account of Eid-ul-Fitr.

On Monday, the interior ministry had announced that the Eidul Fitr holidays will be observed throughout the country from May 10 to 15.

The development comes after National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) recommended that Eidul Fitr holidays in Pakistan should be observed from May 10-15.

The guidelines issued by the NCOC said, “All markets, businesses and shops will remain closed, except essential services such as grocery stores, medical stores, hospitals, vaccination centers, vegetable, fruit and meat shops, bakeries, petrol pumps, food takeaways and media houses.”