Wedding Hall Owners Denounce Ban on Indoor Weddings

In recent news, owners of wedding halls are unhappy with the decisions being made by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). 

Only a few days ago, a ban had been placed on marriage halls against holding indoor weddings. However, the decision of the NCOC to do so was not welcomed. Hall owners stated that they could not close their venues because they had taken advance payments from clients for bookings of various events. 

In light of this situation, Marriage Hall Owners Association decided to have a press conference. All relevant parties got together on Saturday at the Karachi Press Club. The president of the association, Rana Raees, along with various other claimed that Asad Umar, Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister, is not working in the best interests of the people. Moreover, the association claimed that Umar was going against the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who repeatedly opposes the shutting down of businesses. 

Raees said that they had taken this matter to the authorities before. However, he claimed that no one had given them a sufficient or suitable response. Therefore, the association declared that they have, and will continue to, keep their halls operating. The president also pointed out that shopping malls and processions had not been banned whereas, all kinds of restrictions were being placed only on wedding halls. The members present unanimously agreed that this was unfair to their businesses. 

Owners of wedding halls brought attention to the fact that they had only just started to recover after the lockdown. As a consequence of the lockdown imposed in March in the wake of the novel coronavirus, their businesses had suffered substantial losses. 

The attendees questioned how they were expected to pay the workers if they halt all their operations. They also complained that during these tough times, the government had taken no action to provide them with any sort of relief. 

One representative accused the NCOC of not doing anything for the hundreds of workers in the industry, who had lost their incomes due to the lockdown. He also claimed that the government had been granted a fund worth billions of rupees, which was to be spent in providing relief to the workers during the pandemic. But, the employees in the industry had only received a meager sum of Rs.12,000, despite all the suffering that the lockdown had caused. 

Raees told all the members that they should not worry as no wedding owner is in favor of shutting down marriage halls. However, he stated that they will help curb the rise of the virus in every other way possible. He promised that they will strictly implement all standard operating procedures related to the coronavirus, as outlined by the relevant authorities.

Owners of the wedding halls went on to appeal to the Prime Minister, Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, and the Chief Justice of Pakistan. They requested these authoritative figures to protect them from this impending economic crisis.