Garment industry cautions against long Eid holidays

Argues prolonged break will cut off country from world, cost economy dearly

Our Correspondent May 29, 2024


Garment manufacturers and exporters have vehemently opposed the announcement of long holidays for Eidul Azha along with weekly break, cautioning that weeklong holidays will disconnect Pakistan from the outside world and cost the economy dearly.

“The country will remain cut off from the rest of the world, during which all kinds of trade and exports will come to a halt,” said Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Mubashar Naseer Butt in a statement on Tuesday.

He regretted that due to the past long and unnecessary holidays on Eid festivals, the country had to bear an irreparable monetary loss.

Moreover, the prolonged closure of banks leads to delay in opening Letters of Credit (LCs) for imports and making payments. The banking sector shutdown not only creates problems for trade and industry but also for the common man.

In that situation, the ATM system was found not efficient and it might aggravate liquidity problems, Butt said and urged policymakers to refrain from such a long holiday spell, which the nation could not afford both economically and socially.

“In this economic crisis, when we are running short of foreign exchange amidst a constant plunge in textile exports, this move will make the situation worse, as exporters will not be able to meet orders on time.”

The garment industry also spoke against the government’s decision of declaring a public holiday to mark Youm-e-Takbir, as a result of which the entire industry came to an abrupt halt.

Butt warned that the nation could not afford the economic disruption caused by such holidays, adding that the unexpected announcement of May 28 holiday was met with significant opposition from the industry because it would cause a loss of billions of rupees in exports at a time when textile exports were already falling.

Keeping in view the current economic situation, he said, the government should remain alert and adopt a pragmatic approach which could suit national interests.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2024.

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