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Each holiday causes $2m loss to private sector

Each holiday causes $2m loss to private sector

Oct 04, 2017 - 19:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some residents say declaring unexpected holidays by the government only results in “time waste, postponement of works and more problems to people.”

Public servants according to the calendar enjoy about 120 off days (four months) per year, but the government has to announce sometimes vacations outside the calendar to avoid possible security incidents during important events.

In a recent example, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled on Tuesday declared October 4 (Wednesday) as pubic holiday for Kabul only on the account of the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) here.

A statement from the ministry had said: “To avoid traffic jam and disruptions and to better welcome and facilitate the distinguished guests and ensure their security, tomorrow (October 4) will be public holiday only in Kabul city.”

Sources said the meeting is being attended by international and regional partners, representatives of key international organisations and civil society activists.

Tight security measures have been put place in and around Kabul city for hosting the SOM conference and some roads have been closed for traffic.

However, Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) and residents said such unexpected holidays caused losses to people and traders.

Siyamuddin Pasarlai, ACCI’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News a single day off resulted in a loss of $2 million to the private sector.

Ghulam Rabbani Sakhizada, a resident of Kabul, said Afghanistan was among countries who enjoyed spending months as holidays in a year. “Announcing holidays for occasions such as SOM and other conferences renders all administrative, economic and social affairs paralyzed in the country.”

He said the business community bore the brunt of the situation. He said Wednesday was declared holiday after Thursday and Friday weekends. “Saturday and Sunday are holidays in neighboring countries, so the trade affairs remain standstill for five days a week.”

Meanwhile, many residents complained against sudden announcement of holidays, citing stoppage of administrative works at government organizations, closure of hospitals, and other issues.

Ahmad Ziya Rafat, a professor at Kabul University, also said public holidays also resulted in a social fallout as people organized their works keeping in view vacations in the calendar. Sudden holidays also inflicted financial losses on Kabul inhabitants and disrupted their works, school studies and others, he added.

However, he said, considering the country’s situation, especially in Kabul, the government should not turn a blind eye towards preventing any untoward incident during international conferences.



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