Businesses object to Sindh Govt’s new Covid-related SOPs
KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has objected to the enforcement of new standard operating procedures (SOPs) introduced by the Sindh government, and said the restrictions are denying the ease of doing business.
FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo demanded that the FPCCI’s nominees must be taken into Sindh’s task force on Covid; as they are the main stakeholders in the province.
The FPCCI was receiving innumerable complaints regarding the ease of doing business being turned upside down in the name of Covid SOPs, he said, and demanded the provincial government to immediately consult the chamber and also invite its nominees in the meetings of the task force on Covid before announcing any SOPs.
He suggested the government should adopt a uniform policy on SOPs and restrictions; and all provinces should follow similar SOPs.
Maggo said that the restaurants were badly affected and lost most of its employment generation capacity, adding that the government of Pakistan should support the sector in a way it supports the construction sector, as the restaurants generate most employment opportunities after the construction sector.
Ather Sultan Chawla, vice-president of the FPCCI and convener of the All Pakistan Restaurants Association (APRA), said that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) knows that the restaurants industry has done its best to vaccinate its workforce and most of the restaurants in Karachi have vaccinated more than 90 per cent of its workforce.
This is scientifically incorrect to imply that dine-out has contributed to the spread of Covid cases in Pakistan, he added.
Shaukat Omerson, patron of APRA, said that many restaurants in Sindh will have to close down their operations permanently; if the Sindh government does not listen and act on their legitimate concerns.
Babar Nehal, chairman of APRA, said that the restaurants are more than willing to cooperate with the government; but, the government must let the restaurants operate dine-out and dine-in under strict observance of SOPs.
In the meantime, Aleem Qureshi, chairman of the Private Schools Alliance, disagreed with the closure of the schools in Sindh yet again and said that in the rest of the world, schools have been opened on priority basis; while in Pakistan, the government is going in the opposite direction.
Rizwan Irfan of the Tajir Action Committee said that the traders had already requested the provincial government to resolve the issues arising out of the new restrictions in 72 hours and help the traders survive.
Khawaja Jamal Sethi of the Karachi Tajir Alliance demanded that instead of 6:00am to 6:00pm, the Sindh government should allow markets to open from 8:00am to 8:00pm and keep one day as a closed day instead of two days.
Maggo expressed his willingness to help businesses and the government resolve their disputes in an amicable and mutually-beneficial manner through the platform of the FPCCI.
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