Traders rejected the government’s decision to close the market at 8:30 PM.


ISLAMABAD: Traders across the country rejected the central government’s decision to close all markets and restaurants by 8:30 p.m. in its new energy conservation plan. It said it was impossible to save energy with such measures, ARY News reported Tuesday.

In a statement, Markazi Tanzeem-e-Tajran Chief Minister of Pakistan (MTTP) Kashif Chaudhry said the government has formulated policies without giving confidence to the business community and refusing to adhere to the energy conservation plan.

“It is impossible to save energy with such measures,” Kashif Chaudhry said, warning of ‘Fiery resistance’ if government tries to force shop closures

He regretted that despite strong protests and reassurances from officials, But the government decided to impose a “unilateral” decision.

He suggested that the government should restrict staff from using air conditioning and heating in offices to save energy. “We buy the most expensive electricity, so a good strategy should be planned for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, Karachi Electronics Traders Association president Rizwan Irfan revealed that the Sindh government has consulted with restaurant owners and wedding venue owners on energy-saving plans.

he said during the meeting All stakeholders agreed that markets and shopping malls should be open until 9pm-10pm, while restaurants and wedding halls should be allowed to remain open until 11pm.

“However, even if the Sindh government approves, they impose unilateral decisions,” Irfan lamented, asking the government to bear these costs.

Moreover, Ilyas Memon, President of Saddar Traders Association, said the decision to close the market prematurely was tantamount to the destruction of the business.

“The police and the administration should not harass businessmen,” he said, adding that the Sindh government should not submit an FIR based on a decision at the consultation meeting.

Earlier, Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Asif announced that the Federal Cabinet had approved the Energy Conservation Plan as a whole. The market closes at 8:30 PM and the wedding hall by 10:00 PM..

“All markets and shopping malls will be closed by 8:30pm and wedding halls at 10pm nationwide,” Defense Minister Khawaja Asif announced at a news conference flanked by Ministers Sherry Rehman, Khurrum Dastgir and Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Khawaja Asif presided over a press conference on the decision at a cabinet meeting in Islamabad. Chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the energy conservation plan will help Pakistan save 8,000 to 9,000 MW of electricity and Rs 62 crore a year.

The federal minister went on to say that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, under the Energy Efficiency Plan, has ordered a 30 percent reduction in electricity use in federal offices.


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