Extended holidays could result in huge loss for economy, warns Aptma

The textile sector has shown its displeasure over the government’s decision to shut down all activities during Eid holidays saying that the move will hurt exporters.

“Shutting down the country for 10 consecutive days is unacceptable as it would create a lot of glitches for the economy, industries, particularly exporters who will not be able to dispatch their shipments abroad due to the complete closure of banks, ports, customs, and all other departments during excessive holidays,” All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers’ Association (Aptma) Patron-in-Chief Gohar Ejaz said in a press release issued on Saturday. 

The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) last week announced the schedule for Eid holidays wherein it said the holidays will begin from May 10 (Monday) to May 15 (Friday). The NCOC, government’s top body on containing the Covid-19 virus said the move to shut down the country for a week was to contain movement of people and reduce the spread of Covid-19. 

In addition, the NCOC also imposed a ban on chand raat bazaars, including mehendi, jewelry, and clothing stalls from May 8 to May 16.

Expressing his concerns on the long holiday schedule, Ejaz said the move will practically shut down the entire country for 10 days from Saturday, 8th May to Monday 17th May 2021.

Ejaz warned that the country cannot afford such extended holidays as they will result in giving losses of up to billions of rupees to the national exchequer and terribly affect business activities particularly the exports. 

“Simultaneously, it will badly affect and deprive the daily wage earners of the country of their desperately needed earnings for continuous 10 days. Workers will find it impossible to feed their families creating a social disaster,” he added further. 

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the textile sector, Ejaz warned that manufacturers have orders in hand and are working day and night to dispatch shipments according to the agreed schedule. This decision will end up in the cancellation of orders which will not only result in losses to manufacturers but also to the country, he added. 

He also urged the government to review the holiday schedule and recommended holidays to begin from May 13 instead of May 10 (Thursday) May 16. 

Further he stated that the government should not shut down production and transportation for 10 days as the country simply cannot sustain such production and export loss keeping in view the social overall business climate and economic crises being faced by the country. 

 

Eid holidays usually generate a lot of economic activity in the country as consumers increase their shopping times in view of the festive occasions. However, like last year, local businesses have no option but to suffer losses this year as well as the third wave of Covid-19 has gripped the country into its fold. 

Meanwhile, it seems the state of affairs is likely to remain unchanged for the next year or so as the country has only vaccinated two million of the total 210m population.