QUETTA: Negotiations between the district administration and business community were successful in which the former has eased lockdown for the latter allowing them to open certain shops with conditions.
“The provincial government allowed the community to open shops having accessories and material related to construction industry while obliging shopkeepers to follow the mandatory condition of social distancing,” Balochistan government Spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani told a press conference on Wednesday.
He added that restaurants were also allowed to open with certain standard operating procedures (SOPs) that included only delivery service and takeaway while dining on their premises is prohibited. “Government will impose penalty for not following SOPs.”
In a separate statement issued by Quetta deputy commissioner, he allowed resuming business activities including cement, steel, bird and animal feed shops and date shops. However, dry fruit shops would remain closed.
The DC added the shopkeepers are mandated to keep face masks, sanitisers and hand wash basins for customers. He warned of imposing penalties if the required conditions are not fulfilled.
Earlier, the Central Anjuman-e-Tajiran Balochistan announced opening of businesses in phased manner. In the first phase, they intended to resume regular business activities of dry-fruit markets, tailor shops, date shops, agricultural items shops and restaurants from April 15.
The trade union President Abdul Rahim Kakar maintained the business community cooperated with the government and had shut the business till April 7. However, the local government representative urged the union to extend the closure of business till April 14 and the union cooperated with them, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2020.