International Business Times,
I am writing in response to the article titled ‘Ramadan 2016: How the Muslim Holy Month of Fasting Affects Business, The Economy’, dated 6th June 2016. In the article, the author, Elizabeth Whitman, is of the opinion that observance of the holy month of Ramadan by Muslims affects countries economic growth. The author is of the view that during this period, Muslims are required to abstain from taking food and drink from dawn to dusk. The author accentuate that the long period of fasting is likely to affect productivity of Muslim employees because of the fact that their mind and body strain due to lack of sufficient energy. Additionally, Whitman argues that some organisations and countries are forced to reschedule the official working hours as a way of accommodating employees who proclaim the Muslim faith. During the fasting period, the level of consumption by the Muslim population reduces significantly. On the basis of these aspects, the author argues that business activity is reduced.
On the contrary, the impact of Ramadan on a country’s economic performance is negligible. This arises from the fact that a country’s economic performance is not only anchored on consumption of goods such as food and drinks. On the contrary, a country’s economic performance is influenced by consumption of different products and services. Examples of such services include tourism. During the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslims celebrate their faith by undertaking different activities such as undertaking cultural and religious tours. Through this form of consumption, Muslim contributes to a countries economic growth by increasing consumption in other service sectors. Thus, equilibrium in a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is established. Considering the increase in the rate of domestic and foreign tourism during Ramadan, the article’s author adopts a skewed approach by arguing that Ramadan has a negative impact on a country’s economic performance. It is imperative for governments and institutions to promote observance of the Holy month of Ramadan by offering incentives such as tax exemption on products that are highly consumed during this period.
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