The proposal is to close all markets nationwide at 8 pm. As part of the energy conservation project has been approved by the National Economic Council (NEC). According to the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives’ statement on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s National Economic Council (NEC) has approved a proposal to close all markets across the country at 8 pm as part of the energy conservation project. Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, announced on Tuesday.
Iqbal said the Chief Ministers of Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the huddle. While the planning minister of Baluchistan represented the provincial government. This initiative could save around $1 billion annually, he added.
He said representatives of provincial governments were present in the NEC meeting. They had been advised to get it implemented to save precious resources. Iqbal said energy had become a big challenge for Pakistan and the government would reduce dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil, and give due focus on energy conservation.
The decision to close markets early in the evening during the summer season aims to meet the demands of domestic consumers. And further important decisions regarding this matter will be made by the government in the future.
The provincial chief ministers have endorsed the decision. Which also includes the introduction of LED lights to replace old bulbs and the implementation of green energy projects.
Traders Union retaliated
All Pakistan Traders Union rejects government’s decision
All Pakistan Traders Union (APTU) president Ajmal Baloch said they could not close markets by 8pm in scorching summer. “Every government has registered a failed attempt to close markets by 8pm,” he added.
He went on to say that summer saw a drop in sales. Adding that shopping continued from 8 pm to 11 pm in summer. “Traders’ community is the most expensive buyer of electricity in the country,” he added.
“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.
Baloch emphasized the need for dialogue between the energy minister and trader representatives to address energy conservation concerns.