Traders call for carrying out business all week long for extended hours PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

As vendors open shops, grievances remain

Traders call for carrying out business all week long for extended hours

​ Our Correspondent May 28, 2020
KARACHI: The end of Eidul Fitr marked the reopening of markets and shops across the city, as vendors and retailers looked to recover from financial losses they had been suffering in the face of an extended pandemic lockdown.

While vendors opened shops in most major markets, including Electronic Market, Mobile Market, Zainab Market, Jama Cloth Market and those in Saddar and Tariq Road, on Thursday - the last day of the week on which markets are permitted to open as a result of an ease in the lockdown - they called for further easing the restrictions so that businesses may be able to pick up and thrive again.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the vendors at Zainab Market complained of reduced footfall despite them taking all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Along same lines, shop owners of Jama Cloth Market, which largely houses shops for bridal dresses and fabric, lamented a decline in sales, elaborating that restrictions on organising weddings on a big scale had adversely affected their businesses.

"Business used to see a significant upsurge right after Eid, when most people would shop for weddings but this time around the sales have slumped," said one among them.

These vendors, besides those at other markets, appealed to the Sindh government to allow them to function throughout the week and extend operational hours.

The city's traders pointed out that people avoided stepping out during daytime due to soaring temperature but they would only allowed to keep shops open until 5pm. As a result, sales have been minimal.

"We need to open shops and markets all week long to overcome the adverse effects of the lockdown on our business," explained Sindh Tajir Ittehad leader Jamil Paracha.  He further said that traders now planned to hold talks with the Sindh government to negotiate on the matter and request the authorities to let them open shops all week long.

According to the guidelines issued by the Sindh government, vendors have been permitted to carry out business activities for limited hours Mondays through Thursdays.


The traders received an assurance from Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah that their demands would be brought to the table at the next National Coordination Committee meeting.

The assurance came as the CM met a delegation of traders at the CM House on the day.

Appealing to the CM to lift the restrictions on business activities, traders pledged to ensure that all standard operating procedures issued with relevance to the coronavirus pandemic were properly followed.

At the, the CM said that decisions regarding the lockdown were taken in consultation with the federal government and hence, he would present their demands at the next NCC meeting, which would likely be held before May 31.

Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, too, said that business activities across the province would continue till May 31 as per the directions of the Supreme Court. He added that the federal government, after consulting the provincial governments, had passed an order regarding the continuation of business activities till May 31.

The minister explained that the apex court had ordered the government on May 18 to allow businesses to function till the end of this month. "Until a further decision, the provincial government will comply with the directions of the Supreme Court about the business activities," he said.








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