Lahore traders reject Punjab govt new timings for markets
As the so-called third wave of coronavirus has started playing havoc, the Punjab government on Saturday issued a notification for changes in the timings of businesses in view of the coronavirus pandemic, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
However, Lahore traders have rejected the government's directive for the closure of markets at 6:00 PM and two days off saying this would not help in controlling the rush in the markets.
President All Pakistan Traders Association Ashraf Bhati has totally rejected the government’s decision what he said was taken in a haste.
Similarly, traders from Anarkali Bazar, Urdu Bazar, Shah Alam Market, Montgomery Market, Azam Cloth Market and other markets have despised the government’s decision.
The traders' leaders including Rana Kashif, Sheikh Arshad, Naeem Mir and Arshad Khan have said the economic situation was already in a bad shape and questioned where the labourers would earn their livelihood and vehemently rejected this step taken by the Punjab government, which they deemed as cruel.
According to the notification issued by the Punjab government, which has taken effect immediately and will remain in force until March 29, all business centres will be closed by 6:00 PM in the evening, while no business will be allowed on Saturday and Sunday.
Secretary Primary Healthcare Muhammad Usman, who issued the notification, said that medical services, pharmacies, medical stores, collection points and laboratories will remain open round the clock and seven days a week. Similarly, grocery and general stores, atta chakkis (wheat grinder), fruits and vegetable shops, tandoors and petrol pumps will also be not affected by these new timings. Likewise, the new schedule will not apply to tyre puncture shops, filling plants, workshops, spare parts shops and the shops selling agricultural equipment and machinery.
According to the notification, only 50 percent staff will work each day at both government and private offices while indoor and outdoor marriage halls and community centres will remain closed from March 15.
Similarly, indoor dining will be strictly prohibited at cafes and restaurants; only takeaways will be allowed. Secretary Primary Healthcare Muhammad Usman further said that only 50 persons will be allowed at social and religious gatherings while shrines and cinema halls will remain completely shut. The notification further reads that there will be no entry in parks and other recreational places after 6 PM.