For first time, traders, capital administration join hands to enforce SOPs

Published May 2, 2021
Army and paramilitary soldiers patrol at a market to enforce new restrictions announced to help control the spread of the coronavirus on Saturday. — AP
Army and paramilitary soldiers patrol at a market to enforce new restrictions announced to help control the spread of the coronavirus on Saturday. — AP

ISLAMABAD : For the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the business community of the federal capital has joined hands with the city administration to enforce official restrictions.

Senior leaders of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamza Shafqaatvisited markets in various sectors, including G-10, G-11 and F-10 Markaz, on Saturday to ensure that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were being implemented.

The ICCI team was led by its president, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, which saw to it that Covid-19 guidelines were being followed in the markets and to prevent any untoward incident or resistance from traders and shopkeepers.

The joint team inspected meat shops, bakeries, grocery stores, food outlets and various retail shops to ensure that traders and customers were following SOPs.

Addressing traders in the markets, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said it was due to the responsible attitude of the business community of Islamabad that most traders and customers were following SOPs and the overall situation had improved in the city.

ICCI team, DC visit markets to inspect observance of guidelines; traders want business hours increased in last week of Ramazan

“We hope and pray that with such strict implementation of SOPs in markets, the cases of Covid-19 would decline in the coming days,” Mr Khan said, adding that the purpose of this joint visit was to fully endorse and support the efforts of the capital administration in enforcing health guidelines in the markets.

He said the ICCI had set a positive example of close cooperation with the local administration, and urged the business communities in other major cities to emulate them and cooperate with their respective administrations to control the spread of the deadly virus.

However, he added that while the business community was extending full cooperation to the administration in enforcement of SOPs, the government should enhance business hours, especially during the last week of Ramazan, when people would do their Eid shopping as businesses had already suffered great losses due to lockdowns and restrictions of timings.

Meanwhile, Hamza Shafqaat said today the traders’ community had set a new precedent in the federal capital by extending cooperation to the capital administration.

He thanked the ICCI and the business community, mainly the shopkeepers and traders, for joining hands with the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in this public service.

He said the ICT administration was already burdened with responsibilities due to which spending more resources on the enforcement of coronavirus was difficult, therefore, the ICCI’s cooperation and that of the traders’ community at such a time was very helpful.

“The Covid-19 threat is a reality and I am sure that this new model of joint efforts by the administration and the business community will be taken as an example in the rest of the country and business communities and administrations in every city would jointly work for the enforcement of SOPs,” Mr Shafqaat said.

He said use of force was the least preferred mode for the government and the best model was cooperation among all stakeholders.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2021

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