RAWALPINDI – All Rawalpindi Restaurants Association (APRA) on Wednesday threatened to stage a protest from April 11 and march towards capital if the government would not allow the restaurants to offer dine-in service under the NCOC devised SOPs.
They also demanded of the government to come up with some relief package for restaurants badly affected by the pandemic.
APRA Chairman Mumtaz Ahmad, Secretary General Chaudhry Mohammad Farooq and other office bearers came down hard on government which on one had allowed all the businesses to function with the SOPs but on the other hand restricted restaurants to just take away facility.
They said that restaurants across the country had strictly adhered to the government policy of complete lockdown but now when the NCOC had relaxed restrictions on certain businesses they would genuinely feel cheated as the restaurants were effectively following the SOPs.
Pointing out the dichotomy on part of the government, chairman of the association said that government had allowed the restaurants in federal capital with the facility of outdoor dining despite the fact that Islamabad has one of the top infection rates in third wave of Covid-19.
He said that restaurants in Rawalpindi and other major cities of the country should at least also be allowed serving meals in open area under the SOPs.
Giving details of what he termed irreparable loss to the restaurant industry, Secretary General of the Association Ch. Mohammad Farooq said that more than 23 thousand restaurants had been completely closed down so far leaving around 12 million people jobless.
He feared that if government would not come up with some relief package and relaxation in what he termed irrational and illogical restrictions on restaurants, much more restaurants would close down and more people would lose jobs.
He said that with the permission of take away facility, it was not possible for restaurants to even meet running expenses.