New Delhi/Karachi, July 31 (IANS) Officials of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said it was impossible to pay salaries to workers if the government decides to close down industries and businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic."Pakistan's economic hub Karachi should not be completely locked down in the larger national interest," The News International quoted FPCCI President Nasser Hyatt Maggo as saying in a statement."The only solution out of the current situation, without causing any harm to businesses and employment opportunities, is to allow business and economic activities under strict compliance of SOPs and mandatory vaccination of the workforce."If industries and businesses remain under restrictions, we will not be able to pay salaries," he added.FPCCI hopes that its concerted appeal to the Sindh government will result in reconsideration of the strict decisions taken and will result in a more compliant environment in the province vis-a-vis Covid control and, yet protect the economic and employment opportunities through taking all stakeholders onboard.Meanwhile, Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) Zubair Motiwala said businesses strongly opposed the lockdown strategy to deal with the pandemic, as the only workable solution for minimising the number of Covid cases is to forcefully get the people vaccinated and ensure strict implementation of SOPs.Motiwala stressed that the government should carry out an aggressive vaccination campaign and take assistance from the law enforcement agencies if needed to compel the masses to get vaccinated at the earliest."Small traders and shopkeepers have been facing a lot of problems due to lockdowns and limited business hours, and many businesses are on the verge of total collapse," he said."Hence, the government should try its best to minimise the grievances of shopkeepers and the public."The BMG chairman said perhaps, it is time the government should think about extending monetary help to citizens, especially small shopkeepers, who are now in net debt position, and are paying rents to owners of their business premises.
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