The Chairman, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturing Association (PFMA), Mr Imran Malik, appealed to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and Ministry of Commerce to reconsider their decision of announcing ten days Holidays for Eid-ul-Fitreffective from 8th May ’21 onward. He believed that it would ultimately be a complete shutdown for Footwear Industry, which is still in survival plight due to Covid-19.
The current COVID-19 situation has already brought Industry production to a halt, and this prolonged break will further aggravate the problem to complete export order and procure Raw material due to the closure of banks.
PFMA Chairman stated that Our exporters faced significant difficulties during lockdown last year because they could not comply with their export orders. For any Industry survival, it is essential to retain Foreign buyer that is only possible with the timely delivery of ordered goods. If buyers once lost faith in the producer, it isn’t easy to regain it. The extended closure of markets and banks will delay our exports and cause a delay in the procurement of raw materials. If Government is considering allowing only manufacturers to confirm export orders during holidays, it will not solve their problem until the ancillary industry is also allowed to operate during holidays. Moreover, local footwear industry stocks for the Eid festivity will remain unsold; hence the production will last on shelves, which is also a disadvantage of extended holidays.
Under these circumstances, PFMA humbly requests the Government to consider positively for the reduction of announced holidays on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr for four days only, which would enable the Footwear Sector of Pakistan to complete export orders timely and retain Foreign buyer confidence in them and local footwear sales should not hurt in this high buying season of the footwear industry. Pakistan Footwear Industry has picked up the phase to enter into competition despite COVID-19 constraints, but such long holidays will ruin their reputation abroad and bring financial hardships for Footwear producers.