Rawalpindi traders demand extension in market hours

RAWALPINDI: The Central President of Anjuman-e-Tajiran Punjab, Sharjeel Khan has demanded an extension in business hours in Ramadan.

In an exclusive interview with MM News, Sharjeel Khan urged the government to review its notification to close businesses by 6 pm during Ramadan. He said the business volume increases during Ramadan due to Eid shopping and restricting the timing for businesses would hurt business activities.

“The business community has suffered badly due to Covid-19 and reducing business hours would cause more rush in the markets which would lead to further spread of Covid-19,” he said. He proposed that business hours during Ramazan month be extended to 11 pm, adding that the traders will fully implement the corona SOPS.

Sharjeel said the government should take measures to ensure strict implementation of SOPs in markets and allow all businesses to operate at normal timings to save them from further losses.

The president proposed that measures be taken to avoid the rush at business premises, hand sanitizers are kept handy at business places and social distancing be maintained. He urged the government to give a second thought to this decision and allow businesses to remain open until midnight in Ramazan.

Sharjeel Khan further urged that before taking any decision that had a direct impact on businesses, the major chambers of commerce and trade bodies must be taken fully on board and the practice of taking unilateral decisions should be avoided at all cost as such decisions always lead to detrimental consequences for business and economy.

It is worth mentioning here the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued new guidelines on Wednesday to curb the spread of coronavirus ahead during the month of Ramadan.

The preventive measures were issued during a special meeting of the NCOC chaired by the Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Tuesday.

Keeping in view the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country,  all indoor and outdoor activities, including social, cultural, political, sports, and other miscellaneous events, will be banned.

Market timings will be from Sehri till 6 pm. In addition, the coronavirus monitoring body decided to ban inter-provincial transport on two closed days (Saturdays and Sundays) which will continue to be enforced till midnight April 25-26.