RAWALPINDI: Representatives of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) have demanded to revisit the lockdown policy and said that it should be formulated in collaboration with stakeholders.

“The proposed lockdown from May 8 to May 16 is not feasible. The business community has been the hardest hit by coronavirus. We have to make a policy based on the ground realities. The working hours of banks and post offices should also be increased to provide convenience to customers and pensioners,” said RCCI President Nasir Mirza.

“We recommend that shop hours be extended to 24 hours during Ramazan so that customers can shop comfortably. Weekly off for businesses should also be called off. Exporters will facemore difficulty and demurrage charges will be added as the port will be closed for eight days. Reduced working hours will increase the rush in markets and banks,” he added.

Former president and group leader Sohail Altaf said our coronavirus policy is not clear and is based on trial and error. Every year there is more business on Eid, he said, adding like the rest of the world, we also have to run business along with Covid-19. Traders, mainly from SMEs are in deep trouble due to the lockdown.

It was also discussed that vaccination should be increased along with strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs), wearing of face masks and social distancing.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2021

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