Restaurant industry asks Prime Minister for “Relief Package” & tax waiver

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Karachi: Restaurant owners have appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to give a “Relief Package” due to lockdown for prevention of COVID-19 pandemic, as restaurants closure across the country, including Karachi and restaurant industry is facing severe financial crunch.

In an Appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan, convener of the All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA), Athar Chawla, has requested that all minimum wage earners and daily wagers be paid Rs. 12,000 under Govt’s “Ehsaas” programme, so that workers can save from starvation.

Athar Chawla mentioned that there are about 100,000 restaurants across the country and 2 to 2.5 million people are employed in the industry. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the restaurant industry to the brink of disaster.

“The continuous closure of restaurants for more than a month has led to a severe financial crisis that has not only severely affected the livelihoods of millions but now so the turn has come to starvation”, he added.

Mr. Chawla requested the Prime Minister to give a special “Relief Package” to the restaurant industry in view of the dire situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic to save the industry from collapse and millions of workers from becoming unemployed.

“Prime Minister by an ordinance, should waive off the rent of the lockdown period and order reduction of 50% for the next 6 months and sales tax be waived off till December, 2020”, he requested.

He appealed that sales tax be imposed @ 5% including input Tax from January, 2021 and taxes on salaries, turnover taxes be waived off at least for 2020, taxes on utility bills also should not be included up to December 2020.

Athar Chawla also requested the Prime Minister to defer EOBI and Social Security contribution be waived off up to December, 2020.