According to a new directive issued by the Sindh government, businesses and marketplaces in Karachi will stay open on Fridays, after strong resistance from the city’s traders, who demanded a relaxation of business hours and a decrease in the number of “safe days” in the week.
Last month, the Sindh government implemented coronavirus limitations. Due to an increase in coronavirus infections in the city, the provincial government ordered establishments to shut on Fridays and Sundays.
The Sindh government has taken back its decision in an attempt to satisfy the city’s traders and business sector.
“Markets will remain open on Friday,” said Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, “Markets will remain closed only on Sundays from now on.”
The decision was made, according to the PPP leader, since coronavirus infections in the city have decreased in recent days.
Companies in Karachi and Hyderabad were also told to shut by 8 p.m., while businesses in the rest of the province were told to close by 10 p.m.
While the administration declared Fridays and Sundays to be safe days in Karachi, it announced that businesses in Hyderabad would be closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
The decision drew a lot of criticism from the traders’ community in Karachi and Hyderabad, who accused the government of enforcing one policy for traders in Karachi and Hyderabad and another for dealers in the other areas of Sindh.
Last week, the Karachi Tajir Action Committee staged a hunger strike on the city’s MA Jinnah Boulevard, claiming that the government had permitted merchants in other cities in the province to extend their business hours till 10 p.m.
They also requested that the government allow indoor weddings and indoor eating for vaccinated people.
If the provincial administration did not meet the traders’ requests, the traders vowed to continue their strike.