Friday Sep 10, 2021
KARACHI: Businesses and markets in Karachi will remain open on Fridays, according to a new directive by the Sindh government issued after strong opposition from the city's traders, who were demanding relaxation in business timings and a reduction in the number of "safe days" in the week.
The Sindh government had imposed coronavirus restrictions last month. The provincial government had directed authorities to close businesses on Fridays and Sundays on account of the rising cases of coronavirus in the city.
However, the Sindh government has taken back its decision now in what seems to be a move to appease the city's traders and business community.
"Markets will remain open on Friday," said Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, speaking to Geo News. "Markets will remain closed only on Sundays from now on."
The PPP leader said that the decision had been taken as coronavirus cases in the city had seen a reduction over the past couple of days.
Karachi, Hyderabad traders protest
The Sindh government had also directed businesses to close in Karachi and Hyderabad by 8pm while in other cities of the province, to wind up their activities by 10pm.
While the government had said Fridays and Sundays will be safe days in Karachi, it said businesses would remain closed on Fridays and Saturdays in Hyderabad.
The decision had received a lot of flak from the traders' community in Karachi and Hyderabad, who accused the government of implementing a different policy for traders in Karachi and Hyderabad, while they imposed a different one for the traders of interior Sindh.
Last week, the Karachi Tajir Action Committee held a hunger strike in the city's MA Jinnah road to demand an extension in business hours till 10pm, saying that the government has allowed the same for traders in other cities of the province.
They had also demanded the government allow indoor wedding functions to be held and for indoor dining to be allowed for vaccinated persons.
The traders had threatened to extend their protest if the provincial government didn’t accept their demands.