After Sindh and Punjab, Islamabad also opts for 9pm business hours

Published June 19, 2022
Customers shop for bangles at a market after the government eased the nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, in Islamabad on May 9, 2020. — AFP/File
Customers shop for bangles at a market after the government eased the nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, in Islamabad on May 9, 2020. — AFP/File

Following in the footsteps of Sindh and Punjab, Islamabad has also decided to limit the operational hours of markets, shopping malls, wedding halls and restaurants in an effort to tackle the current energy crisis.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon shared the notification on Twitter early on Sunday.

The order stated that all shops, shopping malls, bakeries and confectionaries, offices, storerooms, godowns, warehouses and cattle markets would close at 9pm. Further, the timings of marriage halls, marquees and exhibition halls would be limited to 10:00pm.

All establishments (commercial or industrial), restaurants, clubs, tandoors, eateries, cafes, cinemas, theatres or other places of public amusement and public parks would close at 11:30pm, it added.

However, hospitals and laboratories, clinics, pharmacies and medical stores, petrol pumps, milk shops and other essential businesses were exempt from following the timings.

The notification, which also detailed the reasons for the move, stated that the order would come into force "with immediate effect" and would remain in place for two months.

The DC noted that the electricity demand had increased as a result of the current hot weather the country was experiencing which was subjecting critical infrastructure to extended loadshedding.

The notification stated that it was "necessary to enforce certain restrictions on non-essential businesses so that this prevalent emergency of the energy shortfall may be controlled in Islamabad Capital Territory".

Sindh, Punjab limit timings

As the weekend approached, Sindh and Punjab had also limited business timings as part of an energy conservation drive.

On Friday, Sindh announced it was switching up the operating hours of markets, shopping malls, wedding halls and restaurants, for a month in order to conserve electricity.

A day later, the Punjab government also announced the closure of markets, bazaars and business centres across the province at 9pm. CM Hamza Shehbaz said that policy on timings for Eidul Azha shopping would be reviewed with the business community.

The coalition government has already declared that such measures were required in the wake of the prevalent power outages and loadshedding to reduce the shortfall between demand and supply of electricity.

The federal cabinet had on June 7 decided 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.

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