Business: Twoday weekly holidays hurting economic growth: FPCCI

Islamabad: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry FPCCI on Sunday criticised the decision to observe two weekly holidays for conserving energy and called for a reversal of the policy in the larger national interest.

Sixday closure on the occasion of Eidul Azha proved that government continues to prefer politics and publicity over economic recovery disregarding of the cost, it said. Conservation of energy is only acceptable when it does not hurt the business activities and the economic growth, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, President FPCCI.

In a statement issued here today, he said that long weekend or moving clocks one hour ahead or back has very little to do with mitigating energy crisis, it requires serious effort which is lacking. Replicating the practices of the developed or rich nations without considering the consequences will not guarantee development but a downturn, he said.

Calling for a national policy about holidays, the FPCCI chief said that every political government has been increasing the number of holidays to gain political mileage while strikes have become the order of the day having a crippling effect on the weakening economy.

Rejecting the unilateral and incorrect decisions, Zubair Ahmed Malik said that we all must work six days in a calendar week with hectic schedules to ensure progress, adding that businessmen, importers and exporters are feeling the pinch of the inordinate decisions.

Those businessmen who deal with the Middle Eastern countries have to face three day closure while the closure of banks for two days has taken a toll on the trading community and the corporate sector while hurting government’s revenue, he said.

Business community finds it extremely difficult to deposit money on Saturdays which provides an opportunity for criminals, Bhatta mafia and police, he observed. The majority of the ATMs remains out of order and two holidays in banks will create more problems for the clients, he said.

President FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik said that financial institutions are the most profitable ventures in Pakistan therefore the government can consider asking them to arrange for their own energy. Converting ATMs on solar energy should be the first step in this regard which will save a lot of energy.

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