LAHORE: The retail sector surprised with the Punjab government decision of reducing the business hours in a wake of new wave of covid-19 pandemic as the Chainstore sector probably only one sector which is following the Covid- 19 SOPs since it inception.
Chairman Chainstore Association of Pakistan Tariq Mehboob Monday observed the Punjab government change in working hours in different districts of province will further worsen the already defunct business situation.
“The Chainstore Association of Pakistan members have already fully cooperated with the government in the Corona situation and ensured the use of masks and other implemented SOPs to revive the business”, he said adding that the CAP members also distributed millions of free of cost masks to the public and the customers during the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The retail sector has implemented all orders and SOP’s issued by the government in recent past and it is incomprehensible that why retailers being pushed to the wall when they are completely following the SOP’s. The business has already been in a revival phase due to last year due to government lock-down sanctions.
Mehboob stated that the supply chain was already been affected due to government’s ill-motivated policies and stocks worth billions of rupees could not be brought to the market for sale on time. He said the businesses were already crippled due to last year lock-down will further ruined if the government adopts the same approach again.
Further, the Punjab government decision to ban commercial activities is against the NCOC guidelines and World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations and guidelines. He said it was the duty of the government to ensure the implementations of SOPs and vaccinations of the peoples but not to lockdown that increase congestion, hurt businesses, jeopardize jobs and weaken the already sinking economy.
He urges the Government that the private sector should be allowed to import vaccines to meet the requirements of the country and eliminate the Covid-19 from Pakistan, he emphasizes that all those businesses who vaccinate their employees should be allowed to do business without any restrictions.
Mehboob observed that retail businesses were fully committed for the safety of their customers and employees.
The CAP demanded the that government should review its decision and immediately restore the previous working hours to save the businesses. All shopping Malls, Markets should be free to do business seven days of week from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm to improve country’s chaotic economy and help to overcome rapidly rising unemployment.