Karachi businessmen ask Sindh, Pak govts to consult them before imposing COVID-19 restrictions

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Karachi [Pakistan], June 2 (ANI): Karachi businessmen on Tuesday asked Sindh, Pakistan government to consult them before imposing COVID-19 restrictions.

Karachi Tajir Action Committee business leaders, in a press conference, have also demanded the Sindh government allow businesses to remain open till 8 pm and let them close for one day instead of the two lockdown days being observed right now, reported The News International.

They also asked the government to withdraw the powers given to the magistrate to seal markets and impose fines on businesses.

The committee said that the federal and Sindh governments should not make decisions without consulting businessmen. They also said that their demands should be accepted within 72 hours or else they will announce a new plan of action, reported The News International.

Businessman Atiq Mir remarked that it was only the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) that asked them about the difficulties they were facing.

"Sindh Government and National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) are ignoring us, in Sindh the education minister is making decisions related to businesses," said Mir.

He warned that if businesses in Karachi are not allowed to open past 6 pm then they will protest, reported The News International.

Meanwhile, businessman Sharjeel Goplani alleged that the district administration took Rs 1 million as a bribe from the mobile market and also took valuable mobile phones from them. He added that businessmen were demanding the governor's rule in the province.

The committee also demanded that special incentives should be given to businessmen in the upcoming budget, reported The News International.

Since the provincial government of Pakistan's Sindh had announced strict lockdown measures in wake of the third COVID-19 wave, it has been found that restrictions in Karachi are becoming a money-making opportunity for law enforcement personnel.

In several suburbs, the police have collaborated with the local administration to allow local businesses to stay open till late night, flouting government restrictions.

The police and the local administration have reportedly set an hourly rate for letting the business operate beyond 6 pm and shopkeepers have alleged that the police are forcing them to comply with the rates. (ANI)