Shopping malls in Valley to remain open from today even as COVID-19 cases rise

Published On: September 10, 2020 08:35 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Experts believe that the govt’s decision could have been driven by the greed to collect more revenue

KATHMANDU, Sept 10: The shopping malls in the Kathmandu Valley are allowed to resume their business almost five months after the government enforced the lockdown.

A joint meeting of the District Administration Offices of three districts in Kathmandu Valley on Wednesday decided to allow the shopping malls to operate their business until 11 in the morning and after 4 pm. It means that shopping centers will remain closed for five hours during the day. 

Since the government enforced lockdown on March 24, almost all the shopping malls have remained closed till the date. Although the government eased lockdown for some days during this period, shopping malls were barred to operate their businesses.

Likewise, the authorities have also decided to allow department stores to open their businesses during the same time period.

Experts, however, have raised questions over the decision as Kathmandu Valley continues to witness a sharp rise in the cases of COVID-19. They maintain that the decision could open up the possibility of the massive spread of the pandemic disease that has already claimed 312 lives across the country.

Stakeholders believe that the government might have revised its previous decision citing the upcoming festivals. This could not only help to boost business activities but also ensure additional revenue collections to the government that is struggling to generate financial resources to fulfill its recurrent expenditure. 

However, a huge crowd that could gather at stores could increase the risk of further spread of COVID-19 given the weak market inspection mechanism of the government in place.  


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