LAHORE - The All Pakistan Restaurants Association on Saturday called upon the provincial food authorities to stop creating harassment among restaurants owners by conducting raids along with large contingents of police.

The restaurants owners said that are planning to close down their business because nobody was paying any attention to their hue and cry and pushing all and sundry with same stick. Association president Shahid Butt said they are totally against corrupt elements in the society and will continue to support every government action that is for the betterment of the society at large but would not allow the disturbance of smooth businesses. He suggested to the government to issue guidelines for the restaurants with a timeframe to implement those guidelines in letter and spirit.

He said in the absence of any clear-cut guidelines, the government or the food authorities have no right to conduct raids and harass genuine businessmen.

APRA President was talking to Vice President LCCI Kashif Anwar here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He informed the LCCI Vice President that they had approached the Chamber only to seek its help against such government action that is bound to force closure of a number of reputed restaurants in City.

LCCI vice president said that it was very unfortunate the authorities concerned had failed to evaluate the impact of police raid on a restaurant because it takes years to win reputation that goes into the drain in a matter of minutes.

He said that the raids would not only result in closure of businesses but it would also dent government reputation as hundreds of thousands of unskilled and skilled people would be losing their jobs who otherwise were earning their bread and butter respectfully.

He said that it was also very unfortunate that police was being sent to such a place where often families are sitting as if there was any complaint against any particular restaurant there should be some procedure to initiate action. He said we are actually trying to implement Western standards without having any knowledge about their working methodology.

He said that it would have been wiser on the part of the government if it would have forewarned the people doing hotels business and then launched the operation. He said that a person who had made a lot of investment to establish a hotel in some posh area is in deep troubles as a large number of well-to-do families had stopped dinning outside only because of government campaign in the name of cleanliness.