Punjab follows Sindh's lead, limits market timing to 9pm as part of energy conservation drive

Published June 18, 2022
Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz presides over a meeting with the province's business community in Lahore on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz presides over a meeting with the province's business community in Lahore on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

The Punjab government on Saturday said it was limiting the operational hours of markets, shopping malls, wedding halls and restaurants as part of an energy conservation drive.

The decision was taken after Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz consulted the province's business community.

A post-meeting handout from the Directorate of General Public Relations said that from here on markets, bazaars and business centers will be closed by 9pm; restaurants by 11:30pm and marriage halls by 10pm.

The restrictions will not apply to medical stores, while there will be relaxation for the business community on Saturdays.

CM Hamza Shehbaz said that policy on timings for Eidul Azha shopping would be reviewed together with the business community.

The handout stated that the business community's representatives in the meeting fully supported and appreciated the government's measures to cope with the energy crisis.

The Punjab government's decision comes a day after the Sindh government promulgated similar measures.

A notification issued by Sindh's Home Secretary Dr Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo had stated that the measures were required due to prevalent power outages and loadshedding so the shortfall between the demand and supply of electricity could be reduced.

It noted that the federal cabinet had decided on June 7 to take effective measures to reduce loadshedding by conserving energy and prevent and minimise the impacts of anticipated energy shortfall in the country through a national strategy.

Therefore, the notification said, it was "necessary and expedient to enforce certain restrictions in order to control increasing shortfall between the energy generation and its utilisation, so that this prevalent emergency of the energy shortfall may be controlled, which otherwise could have long term and multi-sectoral impacts on the lives of the general public of the Sindh province".

There have been reports of hours-long loadshedding across the country, leaving the people to suffer in high temperatures.

The incumbent government has blamed its predecessor PTI for the energy shortfall.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had on June 4 sought an 'emergency plan' to end loadshedding.

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