‘Traders not to ac­cept Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day’

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS - Staff Reporter

The lead­er­ship of Busi­ness­men Group (BMG) and Of­fice Bear­ers of the Karachi Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (KCCI) have cat­e­gor­i­cally stated that any move to change weekly hol­i­day from Sun­day to Fri­day is not ac­cept­able at any cost by the busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of Karachi in par­tic­u­lar and Pak­istan in gen­eral.

In a state­ment is­sued, Chair­man Busi­ness­men Group & For­mer Pres­i­dent KCCI Siraj Kas­sam Teli, Vice Chair­men BMG Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Moti­wala, Ha­roon Fa­rooki and An­jum Nisar, Pres­i­dent KCCI Younus Muham­mad Bashir, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Karachi Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try Zia Ahmed Khan and Vice Pres­i­dent Muham­mad Naeem Sharif stated that peo­ple and politi­cians, who are ad­vo­cat­ing of declar­ing Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day nowa­days, have a very short mem­ory as it took stren­u­ous ef­forts by the busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of Karachi to con­vince the govern­ment to de­clare Sun­day as weekly hol­i­day which was done in 1997 by Prime Min­is­ter Mian Muham­mad Nawaz Sharif dur­ing his pre­vi­ous ten­ure.

"Any­body ad­vo­cat­ing or de­mand­ing of declar­ing Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day is an an­ti­s­tate el­e­ment", they said, adding that the govern­ment must re­ject all rec­om­men­da­tions and im­me­di­ately dis­card any such res­o­lu­tion in the Na­tional As­sem­bly as hol­i­day on Fri­day will not only cause im­mense losses to the busi­ness & in­dus­trial com­mu­nity but will also ter­ri­bly af­fect the eco­nomic per­for­mance of the coun­try.

They fur­ther pointed out that it was not a religious obli­ga­tion to ob­serve Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day. The only obli­ga­tion is to take part in Fri­day Prayers and in this re­gard, ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion in the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors re­main sus­pended for two to three hours for Fri­day prayers", they added.

"The busi­ness and in­dus­trial com­mu­nity of not just Karachi city but the en­tire Pak­istan will never ac­cept such an un­wise and ill-ad­vised de­ci­sion per­tain­ing to declar­ing Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day be­cause it will com­pletely dis­con­nect our busi­nesses and Pak­istan's trade with rest of the world for three con­sec­u­tive days ev­ery week i.e. Fri­day, Satur­day & Sun­day", BMG lead­er­ship and KCCI Of­fice Bear­ers said, adding that it will have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on Pak­istan's econ­omy by fur­ther af­fect­ing the al­ready de­press­ing ex­ports.

They said that keep­ing in view the dwin­dling ex­port fig­ures along with Pak­istan's poor eco­nomic per­for­mance, the coun­try can­not af­ford to have a weekly hol­i­day on Fri­day. Even af­ter 68 years of in­de­pen­dence, it has not been cat­e­gor­i­cally de­cided whether to give weekly hol­i­day on Fri­day or Sun­day as to date, the de­ci­sion mak­ers were con­fused over this non-is­sue which was de­lib­er­ately be­ing made an is­sue by some el­e­ments.

They urged the govern­ment to to­tally re­ject any sug­ges­tion, de­mand or res­o­lu­tion per­tain­ing to declar­ing Fri­day as weekly hol­i­day in the larger in­ter­est of the coun­try.

The cur­rent state of Pak­istan's econ­omy de­mands max­i­mum work­ing hours at the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors in or­der to pull the econ­omy out of on­go­ing cri­sis which sim­ply can­not be done by tak­ing such un­wise steps.

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