LAHORE: Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has urged the government to withdraw two holidays’ decision in government departments and banks as the decision is hitting hard the economic activities in general while the exporting sector in particular.
In a statement issued here, the PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javaid said that the manufacturing sector was in dire need of hand-holding by the government at a point in time when the exports were increasing due to GSP plus status granted by the EU. He said that the decision to observe two holidays in the departments working under Federal government and in the banks was not only hitting the economic activities but also not contributing to the government energy conservation measures.
He suggested that if two weekly holidays were unavoidable, export and import-related government offices including ports, customs and banks should be exempted. He said that commercial banks do not observe two day weekly closure in any part of the world. Even countries, where 5-day week was observed, commercial banks remained open on Saturday. He said that the government should exempt customs and banks from the two day weekly off to ensure export and industries operation. He said that two weekly holidays in the country were not viable.
The PIAF chairman said that country could no more afford two holidays because it would discourage foreign investors who were planning to put their money in new ventures, in Pakistan because of relentless public-private sectors efforts.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that the private sector was putting in its best efforts to expedite economic activities in the country but to achieve the desired results the government would have to take some policy decisions like abolition of two holidays.
He said that if the decision is not withdrawn forthwith, it would not only hamper economic activities but would also affect government revenue generation measures. He urged the prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to immediately announce the withdrawal of two weekly holidays’ decision.