Business Community Rejects Public Holiday on Youm-e-Takbeer

Business Community Rejects Public Holiday on Youm-e-Takbeer – The business community has voiced strong opposition to the public holiday announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the occasion of Youm-e-Takbeer.

The announcement, made abruptly for May 28, has been met with significant backlash from business leaders who argue that the country cannot afford the economic disruption caused by such holidays.

Youm-e-Takbeer commemorates Pakistan’s successful nuclear tests conducted in 1998, a day of national pride. However, the business community contends that the current economic situation does not permit the luxury of additional public holidays. Ismail Suttar, President of the Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), emphasized that the private sector and banking industry are vital to keeping the economy afloat, especially in times of financial turmoil.

“Today’s circumstances demand that we work harder and remain vigilant if we wish to navigate out of this economic crisis,” Suttar stated. He highlighted the timing of the holiday, coinciding with the United States’ Memorial Day, which had already delayed financial transactions. With the announcement of another holiday, the business community faces a four-day delay in crucial cash inflows, particularly from exports to the US, at a time when Pakistan is in desperate need of foreign currency.

Pakistan is currently facing a severe economic downturn, with dwindling exports and a looming threat of default. The business community believes that unnecessary holidays exacerbate these issues by halting economic activities and delaying essential transactions. “We respect and celebrate Youm-e-Takbeer, but the economic realities of today demand continuous effort and minimal interruptions,” Suttar added.

The LCCI President stressed that such abrupt decisions undermine efforts to attract foreign direct investment. Investors seek stability and predictability, and sudden, unplanned holidays can deter them from committing to long-term projects in Pakistan. He urged the government to reconsider the announcement, suggesting that if a public holiday is necessary, it should be limited to schools, allowing the private sector to continue operations.

Suttar’s concerns are echoed by many in the business community who fear the financial losses that will result from this unanticipated break. They call for the government to prioritize economic stability and support the private sector’s continuous operations to avoid further economic decline.

In conclusion, while the sentiment behind commemorating Youm-e-Takbeer is understood and respected, the business community strongly urges the government to reconsider the economic implications of such holidays. They propose a more measured approach that balances national pride with economic necessity, ensuring that Pakistan’s fragile economy remains on a path to recovery.