Nasir Hamid Khan, former senior vice president (SVP) of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday appealed to all business organisations, market associations and members of the business community to demonstrate utmost caution in the opening up of economic activities.
His appeal comes on the day the authorities allowed some relaxations after the month-long corona curfew. All standalone shops, and public transport have been allowed to resume operations from Monday with certain limitations.
In a statement, Nasir said that complete eradication of the virus was a long battle and with many countries reeling under fifth wave, it was imperative that people in Kashmir display Covid-appropriate behaviour in order to limit its impact on “our already devastated economy”.
He appealed for strict adherence to the known preventive covid transmission steps like wearing of a proper N95 mask, frequent sanitisation of hands, maintaining of appropriate distance, avoiding big gatherings and getting vaccinated.
“An equally if not more important step in this fight is that our business establishments strictly follow the guidelines prescribed by the Government with regard to the opening of markets and also permissible activities,” he said.
These guidelines, he added, are devised after in-depth assessment of various factors and data and therefore need full cooperation from the business community and also the general public.
“The pandemic needs containment at both micro and macro level. The role of business organisations and market associations is vital for the fight at the micro level and in this regard I appeal to them that effective steps are taken by each individual establishment in their respective zones of operation for following the above mentioned steps,” he said.
A watertight mechanism, he added, was needed to be put in place by the organisations, associations for monitoring of activities in their respective zones of influence.
“I would also suggest free distribution of masks for those moving without a mask,” he said adding: “These steps are critical in containing the levels of virus infections and also fatality rates. In simple words, it is a matter of life and death having a deep impact on our economic activities as well.”
“It is important to remember that our business cycle peaks during the summer months and usually dips drastically in the harsh winter months. With the Covid related lockdown already impacting the months of April and May, there is a very small window left for generation of business and revenue. In this regard, I seek your cooperation and wish you all success in this endeavor for protection of lives and economy,” he said.