Market closure order: Govt willing to discuss ‘options other than Friday’

Market closure order: Govt willing to discuss ‘options other than Friday’

Srinagar: If traders in downtown areas of Srinagar are unwilling to close markets on Fridays, they should propose “other options” to the government and their views will be considered, the top bureaucrat handling the matter has said.

Commissioner Secretary, Labour & Employment, Kifayat Hussain Rizvi told Kashmir Reader that if traders in downtown areas have objections to the government’s order of closing down markets on Fridays as a “weekly off”, they should make a representation to the government and put forth their opinion.

“The order is basically for the betterment of these traders, but if they have options other than Friday, we can discuss that and mutually solve the issue,” Rizvi said.

He said the aim of the government order was to streamline traffic in Srinagar, but it should not be at the cost of weakening business in the old city’s famous markets.

“It (the order) is being wrongly misunderstood by businessmen. The order is based on inputs from the traffic department and because of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the High Court for streamlining of traffic. There is no ulterior motive behind the order,” Rizvi said.

In an official communiqué made public on November 18, the Labour and Employment Department invoked the Jammu and Kashmir Shops and Establishments Act, 1966, to fix different weekdays as “close days” for traders and businessmen operating in 56 areas of Srinagar.

Markets in Sheher-e-Khaas or downtown areas were asked to remain shut on Friday, normally the busiest day in the week. The traders have refused to obey the order.