PIAF Chairman for extending permission to grocery stores to operate 24/7



Mian Nauman Kabir says restricted timings create panic in markets,


LAHORE:   The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) has appealed to the Punjab government to extend permission to the grocery stores to operate 24/7 or at least till 10 pm, with full implementation of SOPs, enabling the masses to buy their basic food items without any panic, as positivity ratio is dropping significantly.

PIAF chairman Mian Nauman Kabir while talking to a delegation of Chainstore Association of Pakistan which met him in the lead of LCCI former president Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, said all chain stores, especially the grocery stores should be allowed to remain open for the whole week, including Saturday and Sunday, operating round the clock with strict implementation of the government SOPs in their true spirit.

The meeting was also attended by PIAF senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed Khan and vice chairman Javed Iqbal Siddiqi.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that the restricted timings create panic among the business community as well as the general public, who visit markets in haste owing to time limitation, resulting into more rush. PIAF chairman said that partial implementation of SOPs was just due to the limited market hours and lockdowns on Saturdays and Sundays.

Mian Nauman Kabir also observed that COVID-19 cases’ fatality rate in Pakistan is now low, below 4%, with better recovery figures for which the government was appreciated for taking the immediate measure to control the outbreak in the country. At the same time, instead of creating an environment of fear and stress, we must recognize the symptoms and exercise as many precautions as possible, he suggested.

He pointed out that fatality rate in Pakistan due to COVID-19 was very low as compared to other diseases such as Hepatitis, cancer and heart disease. Quoting the data of WHO and UNICEF, he mentioned that just 30% population has access to clean drinking water in comparison to the world average of around 70%. It is very important to get adapted to the present situation while recognizing all precautionary measures such as washing hands very often, wearing face masks, and avoiding unnecessary contact with everyone, etc instead of imposing restrictions on the businesses.

Mian Nauman Kabir also asked the government to expedite the process of vaccination and supply ample quantity of doses not only to the whole public but also to the trade and industry, their workers and families.

“The government will have to import vaccine in huge quantities at the earliest as the country of 220 million aims to vaccinate almost 70 million by the end of the year but the vaccination process has remained slow,” he observed. He urged the trade and industry and workers to get vaccinated to protect themselves as well as their loved ones, suggesting the authorities to import the huge stock of vaccine in this regard.

He pleaded that the complete opening of the businesses would not only reduce the financial depressions but also progress the economic activities in the country. Therefore, the business community should be allowed to run businesses 24/7, he demanded.