Provinces to decide on opening malls, says Hammad Azhar
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Industries minister Hammad Azhar elaborated on the decisions taken to allow businesses to open.
“When the coronavirus outbreak began, we first allowed shops selling essentials and medicines to open. In the next phase, we allowed the construction sector to open and then almost three weeks later allowed the second phase to commence.
“Today, after consulting with the industries ministers of all provinces, we have decided to open the automobile industry, which includes car making industries and their showrooms, motorcycle industries and their showrooms and bicycle warehouses, from Monday.
“Currently the wheat harvesting season is going on and this is the peak time for this industry where they make the most amount of sales.”
He added that shopping malls were also discussed during the meeting.
“Majority of the provinces were of the opinion that big shopping malls have a regulated atmosphere, where [citizens’] entry and exit can be controlled and strict SOPs can be implemented.
“They also thought that by opening malls, crowds at small markets can be reduced. There were some differences of opinion, which is why we have left this decision up to the provinces,” he said.
He added that those businesses with small electricity connections of 5KW and 70KW which are now receiving bills, will find that their bills, for the next three months and of the current month, have been paid.
“They will see money to cover the expenses of their electricity consumption for the next three months,” he said, adding that this credit can be used for more than three months according to their consumption.