ISLAMABAD-Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has strongly opposed the move of the government to close the businesses before Eid ul Azha, especially at a time when the spread of Covid-19 pandemic was well under control in the twin cities and in other parts of the country.

In a press statement, Tahir Abbasi, ICCI Senior Vice President, and Saif ur Rehman Khan, Vice President, called upon the government to enforce SOPs to curb the coronavirus instead of closing businesses before Eid-ul-Azha as closure of businesses during this important festival would cause great losses to the business community and further weaken our struggling economy.

They said that the business community has already suffered huge losses due to the enforcement of lockdowns to control the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and the festival of Eid ul Azha provided them a good opportunity to recover some of their losses. However, keeping businesses closed before Eid-ul-Azha would deal a big blow to them and add to their financial difficulties. They said that despite suffering huge losses, the business community of Islamabad extended full cooperation to the local administration for curbing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

They said that with the grace of Allah the Almighty and the great efforts of ICT Administration led by Hamza Shafqaat, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, the situation of Covid-19 pandemic in the federal capital was now under control as the coronavirus cases were on the downward slide. In this situation, there was no need to keep businesses closed before Eid.

They appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to allow businesses to remain open with SOPs for long hours till Eid ul Azha in order to enable the people to do shopping at the timings of their convenience and avoid making rush in markets. They said that the business community was playing a crucial role in improving the economy and government should provide them maximum facilitation in promoting business activities.

Tahir Abbasi appealed to the traders to ensure strict implementation of SOPs during Eid shopping days and help the government in controlling the spread of coronavirus. He also appealed to the masses to wear masks while visiting the markets for shopping as their cooperation was very important in keeping the Covid-19 pandemic under control during Eid days.