Traders upbeat as govt hits at resuming commercial activities

Muscat: Traders, vendors, service providers and customers in the country are hopeful to resume commercial activities as per proper guidelines of the Supreme Committee.

The anticipation went fast among the business community after Dr Mohammed al Saidi, Minister of Health announced that plans were underway to let some more sectors operate according to the norms set by the Committee.

“We have indentified some commercial activities that can be started, which will be presented at the meeting of the Supreme Committee next week,” the minister said after Thursday’s meeting.

Accordingly, retail outlets that sell essentials, perfumes, gifts and the like along with service providers are in the hope that a wide range of sectors would benefit out of the announcement.

“We have been supplying dry fruits and other foodstuff across the country and business has been affected like nothing especially during the season of Ramadhan. I know all sectors have been affected by the Covid-19 and we hope that things are going to change soon just as the Eid is round the corner,” Mohammed Ashraf, a wholesaler and retailer in Muscat told the Observer.

“We are aware of the economic consequences, but the decision has to be balanced for the safety of both the citizens and our guests who are residents here,” the minister added.

“Building material sector is one area that has been affected beyond words as the construction sector faced a setback these days. The minister’s words gives huge amount of hope and we look forward to be back on track,” Mohammed al Ghanbashi and Aboobacker, partners in a ceramic business told the Observer.

Majority of the shops, vendors and retail outlets on the downtown Ruwi, which used to be thriving with people’s movement and shoppers, are hoping for the comeback of businesses.

“The business that we do during the holy month and pre-Eid days is equivalent to the 11 months business, if I’m not exaggerating and we are eagerly looking forward to hear more positive news,” Hasan Ali, a perfume and gift seller said.

However, the Supreme Committee has categorically mentioned that “any commercial establishment that is allowed to open will be closed if instructions are violated.”