HYDERABAD: The business community and trade organisations have expressed their dismay over senseless implementation of energy conservation measures proposed by the federal government, wondering that on the one hand, their businesses are being closed by 8pm to save electricity and, on the other, excessive power loadshedding is effected during the daytime business hours.

They say their businesses will stand destroyed if loadshedding of many hours in day time continued and they were bound down to pull down the shutters by 8pm. They also appeared disturbed over the local administration’s action to get the early closure measures implemented without having issued a notification to this effect.

Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) president Adeel Siddiqui, in a statement issued here on Monday, said that while the business and trader communities happily offered their support to government’s energy conservation plan and agreed to close markets by 8pm, the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) appeared not ready to rationalise its loadshedding regime.

He said that Hesco had, instead, increased hours of loadshedding and unannounced power cuts. “Traders are forced to work during scorching heat in the absence of electricity supply,” he said, adding that other consumers were also facing the same trouble.

He said that loadshedding had paralysed businessses to the extent that traders were finding it very difficult to complete the orders placed by their customers.

“Businessmen and shopkeepers are even unable to meet expenses of their shops,” he said.

Mr Siddiqui urged the federal government and Hyderabad district administration to fulfill their promise of curtailing duration of power loadshedding.

Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry president Mohammad Altaf Memon has also urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take notice of “forced” closure of markets at 8pm by the district administration on Monday although no such notification was issued yet.

In a statement, he said that the PM had called for a two-hour loadshedding but people of Hyderabad city were bearing with 12 to 14 hours of loadshedding a day. He strongly criticised Hesco’s policy.

He condemned the Hyderabad administration for harassing traders and shopkeepers by forcibly getting markets closed. The action was unlawful until such a notification was issued, he argued.

He said it was decided at a meeting between the commissioner and his organisation that police

would not arrest any trader or shopkeeper while shops were being closed. He said Hesco should be bound down to avoid loadshedding during the curtailed business hours.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022

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