More than 100,000 restaurants across the country closed due to the lockdown should be allowed resume dine-in facilities, All Pakistan Restaurant Association Chairperson Sheikh Abdul Waheed said.
In a press conference on Friday, he said that restaurants are a source of income for more than five million people in the country and due to the lockdown they have been rendered jobless.
“Business is not even equivalent to 10% in parcel and delivery services,” Waheed revealed, adding that this was only beneficial for multi-national food chains.
“Everything such as travel and markets have been reopened, only restaurants remain closed,” he said, questioning if COVID-19 could only spread at restaurants.
“We will wait for a verdict from the government till May 31 and will resume our businesses after that, whatever the decision is,” he said. “If the government does not support us, we will be forced to come out onto the streets.”
Waheed promised that they will ensure implementation of the government’s SOPs strictly.
Restaurant owners also demanded that coronavirus testing of their employees be funded by government hospitals and aid should be provided to those who have lost their jobs.
Waheed reiterated that restaurants should be given the status of an industry as several other businesses were dependent on them.
“We are one of the highest tax payers in the country,” he added.