Owners of marriage halls, lawns and marquees have requested the government to allow them to resume operations as the industry and allied sectors are suffering losses of millions of rupees every day.

“Previously when a wedding took place, the industry itself and its allied industries earned Rs3,000 to Rs5,000 per person,” said Junaid Naqi, one of the owners of Courtyard Marquee.

“When a person, especially woman, who wants to attend a wedding ceremony, will buy a dress for the event and get services of a salon,” he elaborated.

Moreover, the wedding guests will spend money on travel and hosts of the event will serve food, juices, ice cream, cakes and many more things. “This process creates a chain of economic activities,” he added.

Naqi stated that while talking about the event industry like wedding marquees, event planners and designers, “we must understand that just like the construction industry, the wedding industry also works exactly like an engine and the driving force for several other allied industries.”

Industries such as garments and fashion, cosmetics, livestock, food, etc are all interconnected with the wedding events. “The quantum of their businesses affected due to the closure of wedding halls and marquees is huge,” he remarked.

“To understand the above connection, we must understand the cultural and socio-economic values of the people living in South Asia, where wedding ceremonies are more of an obligation, where one tends to spend regardless of his income bracket and thus tends to stimulate all the related industries.”

Apart from these industries facing hefty losses, there were some small allied industries as well, which were related to wedding events, like the hygiene industry, laundry sector and services industry including waiters, decorators, photographers, etc, he stated.

Apart from these, there are many more, which are directly associated with the wedding industry and have been badly affected by the lockdown. Pakistan has around 13,000 marriage halls across the country and almost all of them have the capacity to accommodate 500 people at a time, said Naqi.

“If we suppose that only 25% of the total marriage halls in the country are booked every day, this totals 3,250,” he stated.

“Considering the whole economic chain of the wedding industry, we can conclude that it means the sector earns revenue of more than Rs9.75 million (3,250 x Rs3,000) or Rs16.25 million (3,250 x Rs5,000) on a daily basis.”

From the above-mentioned estimate, “we can gauge the loss the industry is suffering and the subsequent unemployment as a result,” he said. “Therefore, the government must allow the wedding industry to resume its activities.”

“Marriage halls can easily reopen with proper precautions and standard operating procedures (SOPs).” The government can restrict the number of guests to 250.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2020.

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