ISLAMABAD, June 26: The government has in principle decided to abolish two weekly offs and make Saturday a normal working day again to “boost national productivity”.
Official sources told Dawn that at a recent high-level meeting the suggestion was discussed by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf with President Asif Ali Zardari and it was agreed to revert to the six-day week.
The decision was one of several measures taken by the government before the last summer to bring down electricity consumption because at that time it was estimated by the ministry of water and power that between 2,000 and 3,000 MW would be conserved by having two weekly offs.
The ministry of petroleum had also extended its support to the proposal at the time, anticipating a reduction in the consumption of CNG, petrol and diesel.
The energy conference held last month had also reiterated that the five-day week should continue as it saved electricity.
The move was approved by three provinces, but Punjab refused to accept the resolution.
Punjab Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif contended that people would suffer because of closure of government offices for two days.
A government official said the federal government had now realised that the decisions to conserve energy, including closure of markets at sunset, were not being implemented.
“Therefore it will be better to improve the productivity of government offices and facilitate the general public by adding another working day,” he said.