Islamabad’s biggest shopping mall, Centaurus Mall, has come under fire after it announced on Thursday that some visitors will be required to purchase entry coupons.
In what it called a move to avoid ‘overcrowding’, Centaurus Mall in a public notice said visitors will have to buy a Rs100 coupon to enter the mall. However, some people are exempt from the scheme which goes into effect on July 3.
The public notice listed 23 types of people who will not have to purchase the entry coupons. Those exempted include all women and children under 12, senior citizens, lawmakers and executives, diplomats and foreigners, journalists and lawyers, members of country clubs, doctors and teachers. Further, the notice said, “famous players of hockey, cricket, football and golf” and “celebrities” do not have to purchase the entry coupon.
Read: Centaurus soft launch: City’s first ‘authentic’ shopping mall opens its doors
The exemptions sparked debate on social media with some questioning who will determine who’s ‘famous’ and others alleging ‘class discrimination.’
“Some pretty gross and messed up elitism by the Centaurus Mall in Islamabad here. Too many poors visiting I guess,” said one commentor on Twitter.
Some pretty gross and messed up elitism by the Centaurus Mall in Islamabad here. Too many poors visiting I guess. https://t.co/06ntalsogM— Kala Kawa (@kaalakawaa) July 2, 2015
While others claimed the action was taken to keep out ‘Pindi Boys.’
Since the day of Metro inauguration,I stopped going to Centaurus as Pindi boys spoiled the family atmosphere. Cheapos everywhere. #Islamabad— Saad (@SaadKarimKhan) July 2, 2015
#Centaurus Mall Islamabad introduced PKR 100 Entry Fee cos— Fahad K - Comcast NBC (@FaaadKhan) July 2, 2015
1000s of Pindi Boys spends PKR 20 on Metro &
Lives all day Loadshedding free Zone
no worries pindi boyz, come to lahore #centaurus . we dont discriminate! unless u make it a habit:)— فیزان (@punjabkhwa) July 2, 2015
However, the mall management defended the move as a measure to facilitate customers.
“To ensure that shopping at Centaurus does not become inconvenient to them, we have decided to introduce an entry coupon of Rs100 per person,” the public notice read.