Despite lock down, textile industry keeps operating behind closed doors
Large, well-known clothing brands have been trying to make sales online, but report that they are hardly able to attract customers.
Millions of people are expected to become jobless as businesses are expected to incur losses that amount to billions of rupees, due to the lockdowns and restrictions which have been imposed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, many businesses around the country have been trying to find ways to bypass these restrictions and make sales during this period.
A woman, who is a secondary school teacher in Karachi, decided to sell Ladies suits for the upcoming Eid season to compensate for the loss in income from home-based tuitions.
While speaking to The Express Tribune she stated that “I purchase unstitched ladies’ cotton and lawn suits from a couple of retail shops, which have been staying closed for public dealing under the lockdown. Shopkeepers have provided access to their shops to only those they know very well.”
Large, well-known clothing brands have been trying to make sales online, but report that they are hardly able to attract customers and are only able to make around 5% of what they used to before the lockdown.
Salesmen and shop owners have been observed sitting outside shops with closed shutters, but making sales to any customers who may come, in many markets across the city of Karachi.
Similarly, In Faisalabad, it was reported that cloth traders have been opening shops in the various clock tower bazars for a short while before officials begin their daily inspections.
Paying bribes to police officials and Municipal Corporation employees
A trader in the Gol Cloth area of Faisalabad, while speaking to Dawn, reported that they were paying bribes to police officials and Municipal Corporation employees, to be allowed to conduct business.
A social worker, Ahtisham while also speaking to Dawn, stated that restrictions were imposed only on paper, while no measures were being taken practically to ensure social distancing to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
On the other hand, there have also been reports of shops being sealed due to lockdown violations in Faisalabad after the Assistant Commissioner (City) Syed Ayyub Bukhari found various shops open during the inspection. While 100 different shops were also reported to have been sealed for violating SOP in Abbottabad.
As of now, the Prime Minister has announced the lifting of the countrywide lockdown in phases from today, Saturday 9th May 2020, while the COVID-19 cases in Pakistan keep increasing.
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