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Traders announce to keep markets open till 8 pm from tomorrow


KARACHI: In protest against the irresponsible behavior of the Sindh government in alleviating concerns of the business community, the Karachi Tajir Action Committee (KTAC), has announced to keep shops open till 8 pm from Saturday (5 June).

Karachi Tajir Action Committee (KTAC), which represents a large number of trade associations in the metropolis on Friday issued a joint statement after their meeting with other trade bodies, said the provincial government neither contacted the committee nor accepted any of its demands regarding restrictions on businesses.

The trader bodies said a decision would also be taken soon regarding the closure of businesses for one day, instead of two weekly offs at present, from next week. The traders’ committee warned of taking to the streets if police or the administration took any coercive action or attempted to sell their shops to enforce coronavirus restrictions.

On May 25,  the Sindh government had imposed additional restrictions, including a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, in view of the rising incidence of Covid-19 cases in the province, while maintaining earlier restrictions including permission for business activities from 5 am to 6 pm for a period of two weeks.

On Thursday, the Sindh government had decided to ease the lockdown gradually following the improvement in the COVID-19 situation across the province.

Addressing traders at the Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said the provincial task force had hinted at curbing restrictions in its meeting today, adding that the coronavirus situation in Sindh is better and in the next couple of days, businesses will be allowed to open till 8 pm.

He said that the provincial government had to impose restrictions on the markets however, “now we are moving towards opening things.” He said the lockdown and restrictions on businesses caused problems for the traders. It was an unpopular decision, and the PM was also against the lockdown initially, but this time he also supported it, he added.

It was also a fact that restrictions coupled with strictness had resulted in the downward trend of Covid-19 cases, the provincial minister said. Ghani assured that representatives of the business community, particularly those from the KCCI, would be invited to upcoming meetings of the provincial task force.

Earlier today, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while chairing a meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus, directed the provincial finance department not to issue the salaries for the month of July to the employees who don’t get vaccinated.

The meeting reviewed the coronavirus situation in the province. The meeting was informed that 55 out of 26,812 people coming to Karachi from abroad were tested positive for coronavirus.