ICCI For Revising New SOPs With Marquees Association On Board

ISLAMABAD, Nov 11 (APP): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here on Wednesday urged the government to revise the new SOPs by taking Marquees Association Islamabad on board to save them from bankruptcy.

President Sardar ICCI Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the marriage halls and marquees were allowed to reopen last month after remaining closed for about six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which provided them a decent opportunity to restore their business activities. However, the government has issued new SOPs for these businesses that would badly affect their business activities.

He said this while talking to a delegation of Marquees Association Islamabad that visited ICCI led by Salman Ashraf President and Ashraf Shehbaz Vice President to highlight the issues being faced due to new SOPs. Yasir Ilyas Khan said that during the lockdown, the owners of marriage halls and marquees paid millions of rupees in rent and salaries of the employees from their own pockets, which caused them great financial loss. This was done to save the workers from unemployment and poverty. However, he said that the new SOPs have created a lot of concerns in the business community of this sector.

He therefore appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar to take the Marquees Association Islamabad into confidence for the strict enforcement of revised SOPs with the aim to save these businesses from permanent closure. Speaking at the occasion, Marquees Association Islamabad President Salman Ashraf and Vice President Ashraf Shahbaz said that at least 5,000 people were employed in marriage halls and marquees in Islamabad while 7.5 million were employed in about 15,000 marriage halls and marquees across the country.

They said that the business of 30 industries was linked with marriage halls/marquees and if the business of marquees was affected, it would also put a negative impact on the business activities of relevant industries. They said that closing a marriage hall would put about 10,000 people out of work.

They said that the closure of marriage halls for almost six months due to Covid-19 had already caused severe hardships to this sector and they could not afford more closure of businesses. They said that political rallies and processions were being held all over the country in which thousands of people were participating.

Therefore, imposing new restrictions only on marriage halls and marquees was not a fair approach, they added. They urged allowing businesses to keep one side open for holding indoor marriage functions that would save them from further damages. They said that the business community of this sector would fully cooperate in implementation of SOPs.

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