Eid-ul-Azha, the festivities of sacrifice and celebration, was not like the same this year; the difference was not only in spirit but the celebrations, thanks to COVID-19.
The size of the market shrunk massively for both – economic and health reasons, but thank God, the countrywide shrinkage was less significant than what it felt like in economic hubs like Karachi and Lahore.
This year, the slump in the volume of sacrificial activity in cities was partially compensated partially by the shocking hike in animal sacrifices in rural Pakistan.
Remarkable differences in the volume of business observed only in Karachi, Lahore and some other big cities of Punjab but not in Quetta, Peshawar, and cities across the other three smaller provinces.
The sudden downfall in clothes, shoes, and accessories spending was recorded when the smart lockdown was announced throughout the most prosperous province – Punjab – days before Eid to pre-empt the hike in COVID-19 cases, which the country experienced after Eid-ul-Fitr.
The size of related economic activities recorded Rs100bn-110bn this year, which is 50pc less than the last year.
As far as the scope of online activity is concerned, it was initiated a few years back but widened further this year; this year, many tech-savvy, wealthier families remotely managed the sacrifice, using options and tools. Even a handful of companies have also cropped up, offering hassle-free services for a price -for the most – beyond the skies. The actual figures have yet to be released to know the actual depth or share of this market in the multi-billion-rupee Eid-ul-Azha economy.
With the slump in demand, the prices are reported to be higher than last year.