Govt decides to shut markets across country by 8pm


Decision has been taken as part of the efforts to conserve energy, according to planning minister
Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday stated that the National Economic Council (NEC) has approved the proposal to close all markets across the country at 8pm under the energy conservation project, Express News reported.
Iqbal said that representatives from all provinces were present during the meeting of NEC today. “After assessing the prevailing situation, it was unanimously decided to close all shops from 8pm starting from July 1,” he added.
He stated that there is also an agreement to implement the decision of closing markets at 8pm in all provinces.
The federal minister added that the government’s highest expenses are incurred on energy. “Measures are being taken to control these expenses, and if we manage to control them, many issues will be resolved,” he said.
He mentioned that the biggest challenge during the summer season is electricity generation, saying that to fulfil the demands of domestic consumers, there was a consensus to close markets early in the evening, and the government will make further important decisions regarding this matter in the future.
The decision was endorsed by the provincial chief ministers. It was also decided to introduce LED lights in place of old bulbs along with the implementation of green energy projects.
Traders oppose early closure of markets
Meanwhile, the traders have rejected the decision of the federal government. The All Pakistan Traders Association has responded to the government’s decision, demanding the withdrawal of the decision to close shops at 8pm.
All Pakistan Traders Association President Jamil Baloch stated in a press release that no shops will be closed at 8pm this summer. “Every government has failed in the unsuccessful practice of closing shops at 8pm. In the summer season, no purchases are made during the day; buying only occurs from 8pm to 11pm.”
Baloch said that traders are the ones who purchase the most expensive electricity in the country. “It is absurd to stop the economic wheel to save energy. The government should cease the supply of free electricity and the rulers should turn off their air conditioners. Every household’s fan will be operational then. It is unfortunate that when it comes to energy conservation, either the defence minister speaks or the planning minister does. The energy minister should sit with trader representatives and have a discussion,” he further said.