As the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gears up to host Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in Lahore, traders have said that strict security measures, such as sealing off markets and roads to facilitate the movement of the teams, are being taken by the government, which would ultimately cause a loss of at least Rs23 billion to local businesses every day, Profit reported.
According to traders and office bearers at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), they are not against cricket matches as these activities “are very encouraging and aid in improving the image of the country”, but the closure of Liberty Market and others in surrounding areas for just one day will cause losses worth around Rs23 billion.
“We are frequently in contact with the government and are also putting forth proposals to make a long-term strategy that can help the business community and locals,” the reported quoted them as saying during a press conference at LCCI on Tuesday.
The LCCI president was of the view that revival of international cricket in Pakistan was a healthy sign and would promote a soft image of the country, but economic activities carried equal importance, therefore, the government should make a plan in consultation with all stakeholders to hold sporting events without affecting businesses.
He maintained that during cricket matches in the recent past, Liberty and other markets, as well as restaurants adjacent to the Gaddafi Stadium, were shut down, resulting in significant losses to businesses, not only to the traders, but also daily wagers.
The LCCI president said that the business community was ready to cooperate with the government to ensure all necessary security measures during these matches, but they also wanted that adjacent markets and restaurants not be forced to remain shut because, on top of all the losses, it would create the impression that security conditions are not normal yet.
“A state-of-the-art luxurious hotel should be built as soon as possible within the premises of Gaddafi Stadium Lahore for guest teams because it is the only solution to address all concerns,” he added.