Karachi’s business community to incur Rs. 50 billion losses from Sindh COVID-19 lockdown

Several business leaders have urged the provincial government to lift the lockdown.

Sindh government lockdown in Karachi on Friday. (Reuters)

The Government of Sindh has been harshly criticized by business persons and traders from Karachi for imposing a nine-day lockdown to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The traders maintain that the lockdown will negatively impact the people’s livelihoods and cause losses to the national economy.

Karachi’s busy Tariq Road was empty during the lockdown on Friday. (AN)

This was revealed by the All Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI) Chairperson, Atiq Mir, on Saturday.

“We’re estimating ₨. 50 billion in losses to regional traders and business community during these nine days,” Mir lamented, adding that the country’s already weak economy will be further hurt.

The AKTI Chairperson warned that Karachi’s business community would be unable to pay taxes to the federal, provincial, and city authorities if the lockdown continued.

Mir added that that the metropolis’ business community would bear the nine-day-long lockdown. However, they will defy the lockdown if it is extended further.

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Likewise, the President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, urged the Government of Sindh to “reassess its decision” as it would negatively impact the business community.

Maggo remarked that the Sindh government should implement an inclusive vaccination program and implement strict SOPs to permit businesses to operate normally.

Moreover, he added that the industries should be allowed to operate seven days a week to carry out their production activities.

Businessmen slam complete lockdown in Sindh - BOL News

Similarly, the Convener of All Pakistan Restaurants Association (APRA), Athar Sultan Chawla, said that the lockdown would damage the South Asian country’s vulnerable food industry.

More than 20% of the restaurants in Pakistan have already shut down, making thousands of workers jobless.

The APRA Convener questioned the provincial government’s decision to prohibit takeaways and socially distanced outdoor dining during the lockdown.

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