EghtesadOnline: Tehran Guilds’ Chamber will not comply with lockdown rules while banks, tax offices and municipalities remain open, Fars News Agency quoted Qasem Noudeh-Farahani, the head of the chamber as saying.
Cooperation between the guilds and the government cannot be a one-way street, he said.
“We have informed the president [Hassan Rouhani] and the National Headquarters to Fight Coronavirus that guilds are not capable of abiding by the guidelines if the current situation persists i.e. small businesses remain shut while [state] insurance organizations, banks and the tax authority continue sending the bills.”
The uncommon complaint came as the National Headquarters to Fight Coronavirus extended by one more week from May 1 the shutdown of all non-essential businesses. These include Groups II, III, and IV in the high-risk red and orange zones for coronavirus transmission, Noudeh-Farahani said.
“Tehran’s Grand Bazaar will also remain closed until May 7 to help contain the Covid-19 infections,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Notably, only businesses in Group I including bakeries, supermarkets, grocery stores, car shops, chain stores, health and treatment centers, pharmacies, factories, transportation companies, public parking garages, military bases, post offices, internet service providers, press, nursery homes and print shops are allowed to function.
The extended closures come as businesses suffer massive financial losses and are firing workers or downing shutters.
“The virus will not go away by closing small businesses. They need to operate to avoid bankruptcy. The [selected] lockdowns during such hard times of certain businesses while banks and tax offices stay open is irrational,” he complained.
Businesses affiliated to Iran Chamber of Guilds have reportedly suffered 3,000 trillion rials (over $13.6 billion) in losses since the beginning of the plague, Mohammad-Baqer Mojtabaiee, the general secretary of the chamber said.