LAHORE/karachi - The business community on Saturday took a strong exception to the decision of announcing October 18 (Friday) as holiday which caused a huge loss to the trade and industry and deprived the exchequer of much needed revenue.

They said that at a time when the country was in dire need of continuous work to put the economy back on rails, some elements in the government was making all out efforts to put it a reverse gear.

They said that the business community was happy with three days Eid holidays and wanted to restart their manufacturing operations on Friday but a late night decision that too without any due consultation of the private sector sent the country to weeklong holidays.

“Who would compensate the private sector that has to pay all the dues including markup, other taxes and salaries for all the thirty days. How would they be able to make payments when there is no work at all for almost one week. It is now duty of the government to announce relief for cash strapped businessmen.” They said that the country can no more afford long holidays if the government wanted to overcome ongoing economic challenges.

PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid said that the government understands well that recent gas and electricity crisis had already broken the back of the industrial sector in the country and they are hardly fulfilling their export orders to keep the wheel of the economy on the run.

Meanwhile, KATI patron-in-chief S M Muneer has said that nation suffered a production loss of around Rs 436 billion and a loss to national exchequer to the tune of Rs 50 billion due to closure of business activities for almost a week.

“In order to make Pakistan Asian Tiger, we will have to review our policies for holidays,” he said at a reception hosted in honor of S M Tanveer and S M Naseer. Muneer further said that in order to combat various challenges being faced by nation likes poverty, energy crises and law and order, we will have to review our policy for holidays and curtail holidays as much as possible and follow the footsteps of countries like Malaysia, China and Turkey in order to promote business activities.

The Rangers and Police had played a very effective role in curbing the snatching of hides on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, and for that Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, Governor Sindh Dr Eshrat-ul-Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Additional IG Shahid Hayat deserve the compliments.

 Karachi is hub of all business activities and improvement in law and order situation at Karachi brings positive results, he added.

Muneer said that due to long holidays at Eid-ul-Adha the business and trade activities came to halt and this results in delays in completion of export orders.

Mian Zahid Hussain, President All Karachi Industrial Alliance, said that daily wagers are facing difficulties due to increase in holidays and most of the workers left for their hometowns during Eid-ul-Adha holidays which hampered the entire business activities.

President KATI Syed Farukh Mazhar said that keeping in view of day by day increase in the cost of production, we have to promote manufacturing sector by providing conducive atmosphere and cheap labour, and for the we must reduce number of holidays. He urged the government to promote business in view of current situation of Karachi.