Wedding halls association to hold protests in KP

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) wedding halls association has decided to protest against the government for closing wedding halls to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the province.

The association said that lockdowns have caused an Rs7 billion loss to the wedding hall industry and the association is not in a position to afford their work to stop.

KP Hotel and Wedding Hall Association (KPHWHA) President Khalid Ayub said “the present government is bent on shutting down the wedding Halls industry across the province.”

He added that earlier, they had shut down the industry for over six months on the federal and provincial government’s request but the industry was not provided with any compensation.

He complained that all other industries were compensated for losses but no relief was given to wedding hall owners, warning that the decision to close wedding halls will render thousands of people jobless across the province.

“The provincial government and the district administration have decided to close wedding halls for marriages from November 20, which the association has rejected and will protest against it,” Ayub informed after the association meeting in Peshawar.

Ayub added that after the lockdown was lifted, the association implemented all SOPs provided by the government therefore there was no justification for the district administration to seal the wedding halls.

He alleged that at present, the district administration is shutting down the industry across KP on a daily basis for ‘extortion’ under the guise of coronavirus SOPs violations.

Khalid Ayub concluded by saying that said that employment opportunities in KP are scarce due to terrorism, adding that “the government is carrying out an economic massacre across the province.”

Earlier, the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments had allowed the opening of marriage halls across the province from Tuesday under the strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

A notification has been issued by the Sindh government allowing all marriage halls across the province to reopen and hold gatherings. It had been declared mandatory to wear masks and maintaining social distancing.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has also allowed the opening of marriage halls and issued standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Coronavirus tests have been declared mandatory for the staff of marriage halls and staff members will be limited to 50 percent at wedding halls.