Lahore, (PR) : The garment industry has opposed the government’s decision to declare a public holiday to mark Youm-e-Takbeer, forcing the whole industry to halt its work, as the nation cannot afford the economic disruption caused by such holidays.
The Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt, in a statement issued here on Tuesday, also warned the government of announcing long holidays on the coming Eid-ul-Azha, as the move would hurt the business.
He said that the abrupt announcement of the May 28 holiday has been met with significant opposition from the whole industry, as it would cause a loss of billions of rupees in exports, amidst continuously declining textile exports.
Mubashar Butt said that keeping in view of the current economic situation of the country the government should remain alert, adopting a pragmatic approach that suits the national interest.
The PRGMEA Central Chairman said that due to the closure of transport, there will be problems in transferring the finished goods from one to another places, as the long holiday spell would cut off Pakistan commercially from the world, causing a loss of billions of rupees in external trade. He said that everyone agrees that Youm-e-Takbeer commemorates Pakistan’s successful nuclear tests conducted in 1998, a day of national pride. However, he contended that the current economic situation does not permit the luxury of additional public holidays. He pointed out that the private sector and banking industry are vital to keeping the economy afloat, especially in times of financial turmoil. Present circumstances demand that we should work harder and remain vigilant if we wish to navigate out of this economic crisis.
Pakistan is currently facing a severe economic downturn, with dwindling exports and a looming threat of default. The business community believes that unnecessary holidays exacerbate these issues by halting economic activities and delaying essential transactions. PRGMEA respects and celebrates Youm-e-Takbeer, but the economic realities of today demand continuous efforts and minimal interruptions, he added.
Talking about the upcoming long holidays during Eid-ul-Azha together with weekly holidays, Mubashar Butt said if the authorities announce weeklong holidays the country would remain disconnected from the world during this period, and it will cost the economy.
He said that the country will remain cut off from the rest of the world, having halted all kinds of trade and exports with foreign countries. He regretted that due to long and unnecessary holidays on previous Eids, the country has had to bear an irreparable monetary loss.
Moreover, the long closure of banks would lead to delays in the opening of LCs and making payments. The impact of the banking sector shutdown would also create problems for not only the trade and industry but also for the common man. The ATM system is not efficient and it might aggravate the liquidity problem, he said. He urged the policymakers to refrain from allowing such a long spell of holidays, which the nation cannot afford both economically and socially.
In this worst economic crisis when we are running short of foreign exchange reserves amidst constant plunge in textile exports this move will make the situation worse, as the exporters would not be able to complete the orders.

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