The Punjab government on Wednesday allowed industries and construction-led businesses to operate round the clock and for seven days a week.
Previously, some of the construction-led businesses were not allowed to work due to the measures taken to contain the spread of Covid-19. Mostly, these were retail outlets, which sold construction material.
The decision to allow them to work 24 hours a day has paved the way for the entire chain of the construction sector to become functional.
The announcement has been made due to a sudden drop in Covid-19 cases in the province. On Sunday, the Punjab government had already announced the end to the months-long lockdown.
A notification said that all businesses had to follow proper SOPs (standard operating procedures), defined by the authorities. “Businesses that failed to follow the SOPs will be closed immediately,” the notification said.
Large-scale industries, especially export-oriented textile mills, were already exempted from the time restriction. According to the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Punjab chairman, their units have been fully functional for three months and this notification is not for them.
However, other retail and wholesale markets of the province will continue to follow the previously announced working hours until the government decides new timings for them.
Meanwhile, other businesses like marriage halls, restaurants (for dine-in), etc have still not been allowed to reopen. A summary has been moved by the provincial government to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to allow them to open their businesses as well.
Association of Builders and Developers North Zone Chairman Akbar Sheikh, while hailing the decision taken by the provincial government, said “this is a good decision, which is supported by the latest Covid-19 figures”.