Tuesday Jul 27, 2021
KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Monday rejected new SOPs being enforced in Sindh from this week, and demanded the provincial government to include the chambers’ nominees in the Provincial COVID-19 Task Force.
FPCCI President Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo said they were the main stakeholders in the province, and therefore should have a nominee in the body.
“Being the apex representative body of business, industry and trade community of Pakistan, we are receiving innumerable complaints regarding ease of doing business being turned upside down in the name of COVID SOPs,” said Maggo.
The FPCCI president demanded the Murad Ali Shah-led government consult them before introducing any new SOPs in Sindh. He also called on the federal government to formulate uniform SOPs and COVID-related policies.
Speaking of the effects of COVID restrictions on the restaurant business, the FPCCI president said the sector was one of the most affected and had lost most of its employment generation capacity.
“The government of Pakistan should support the sector in a way the government supports the construction sector, as restaurants generate most employment opportunities after the construction sector,” he added.
FPCCI VP Ather Sultan Chawla, who is also the convener of All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA), said that the National Command and Operation Centre knows that the restaurant industry has done its best to vaccinate its workforce and most of the restaurants in Karachi have vaccinated more than 90% of their workforce.
He claimed that it was scientifically incorrect to imply that dine-out has contributed to the spread of COVID cases in Pakistan.
APRA Patron Shaukat Omerson said many restaurants in Sindh would have to close down their operations permanently if their “legitimate concerns” were ignored.
On the other hand, Private Schools Alliance Chairman Aleem Qureshi strongly disagreed with the closure of schools in Sindh yet again, and informed that in the rest of the world, schools have been opened on a priority basis, “while in Pakistan we are going in opposite direction”.
Tajir Action Committee’s Rizwan Irfan said that the community has already requested the Sindh government to resolve the issues arising out of new restrictions in 72 hours.
Karachi Tajir Alliance member Khawaja Jamal Sethi demanded that instead of 6am to 6pm, the government of Sindh should allow markets to open from 8am to 8pm, while keeping one day closed, instead of two days.