LAHORE                -          Lahore Restaurants Unity (LRU) and Lahore Super Markets Association (LSMA) have sought help of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry for opening of businesses under strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Restaurants owners and Marriage Halls Association have demanded opening of businesses while Super Markets Association has called for extended time for businesses during meeting with LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad on Thursday. Chairman Lahore Restaurants Unity Amir Rafiq Qureshi and President Lahore Super Markets Association Ahmad Nawaz and Chairman Marriage Halls Association Mian Muhammad Ilyas also spoke on the occasion, urging LCCI office bearers to use links for ending plight of the community and daily wagers. EC Members Aamir Anwar, Ch. Khadim Hussain and Wasif Yousaf and others were present on the occasion.

They demanded of the government to allow resumption of businesses immediately as prolonged lockdown has already caused irreoarable loss.

They said that closure of restaurants has not only put investment of billions of rupees on stake but has also rendered thousands of employees jobless and they are facing starvation.

“Hundreds of restaurants have been closed, which cost jobs of thousands of daily-wage earners and labourers besides loss to the national exchequer”, they said and added that government has allowed various other businesses but these businesses are kept closed.

They said that restaurants and marriage hall owners are ready to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain coronavirus.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the LCCI is well aware of the miseries of traders and has already taken up these issues at highest level. He said that a number countries including Turkey have already opened hotel industry. “Now we have to live with coronavirus like various other diseases therefore government should manage and open the businesses.

He said that business community is the backbone of the economy and playing a great role in providing employment to the people and revenue to the government.

He said that coronavirus has already caused a huge loss and country cannot bear more. People should take safety measures by themselves, not only to save their lives but for further ease in lockdown.

Lahore Restaurants Unity on the occasion demanded that relief in rents should be given to the restaurants on government, semi-government’s buildings. 100% utility bills of small restaurants while 50% bills of large restaurants for three months should be waived off. Restaurants should be allowed to work from 08 am to 12 pm.