ISLAMABAD-Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Tuesday noted that delay in opening construction industry in Islamabad would render over 20,000 workers jobless.

ICCI President Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that despite announcement of the government to open construction industry in the country, construction related industries including steel and pipe manufacturers have not been allowed to open their operations in the federal capital, which was creating great concerns in the business community of this sector.

He was afraid that further delay in opening construction sector in Islamabad would render over 20,000 workers jobless.

Ahmed Waheed said that for the last more than one month, industries and businesses were closed in Islamabad and industrialists were paying wages to workers from own pockets. However, this could not be done for long time as without production activities, keeping labour on payroll would be a big challenge.

He said that closed production activities took almost two months in getting back to normal operations and warned that if construction sector was not opened immediately, all construction projects in Islamabad would suffer and unemployment would further increase.

ICCI President said that KPK has opened construction sector and due to closure of construction industry in Islamabad, ongoing construction projects were purchasing construction material from other provinces.

This situation would cause further damage to the construction industries of the federal capital. He urged that local administration should take notice of this situation and urgently allow opening of all construction related businesses otherwise, they would lose the benefit of package announced by the government for construction industry.

ICCI Senior Vice President Tahir Abbasi and Vice President Saif ur Rehman Khan said that due to lockdown, businesses and industries were on the verge of collapse. In these circumstances, Prime Minister had taken a wise decision to open construction industry in the country.

They said that administration should finalise SOPs without further delay for construction industry and open all construction related industries in Islamabad including steel, pipe manufacturing and marble. It would provide jobs to large number of jobless workers and reduce the difficulties of many families as well.