ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday approved five holidays, from July 8 to July 12, on account of Eidul Azha which will be celebrated on Sunday (July 10).

“The prime minister has seen and is pleased to approve Eidul Azha holidays from 8th to 12th July 2022 (Friday to Tuesday),” read a notification issued by Sarah Saeed, special secretary to the prime minister.

On June 29, Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chair­man Maulana Abdul Kha­beer Azad announced the start of the month of Zilhaj from July 1, with Eidul Azha falling on July 10.

It may be noted that in light of an increase in the number of coronavirus infections across Pakistan, the health minister has urged people to comply with anti-coronavirus precautionary measures, such as the use of face masks, on Eid. Experts have also warned of a rapid increase in infections after the Eid holidays.

No business curbs till 10th

In light of Eid, the Sindh government and the Islamabad administration have decided to suspend the restrictions placed on operational hours for businesses and markets for a period of one week.

On June 17, the operating hours of markets, shopping malls, wedding halls, and restaurants were reduced across Sindh for a month in order to conserve electricity amid an energy crisis. However, in a notification issued earlier in the day, the Sindh home department revised the timings till July 11 “in the public interest”.

Similarly, the Islamabad administration, in a notification, said that the businesses will continue to operate without restrictions till July 10 in “the public interest”.

The additional district magistrate stated that the notification issued on June 18 regarding the early closure of businesses in light of the energy crunch would remain suspended for one week before coming back into force on July 11.

It is worth mentioning that on June 18, the Islamabad district administration notified the timing for the closure of businesses in the federal capital, for two months, to deal with the electricity crisis.

However, hospitals and laboratories, clinics, pharmacies and medical stores, petrol pumps, milk shops and other essential businesses had remained exempted from the curbs.

The decisions by the Sindh and Islamabad authorities came a day after the Punjab chief minister withdrew the restrictions imposed on businesses in light of Eidul Azha. On June 18, the Punjab government reduced the working hours of markets, bazaars and business centres across the province and ordered them to close by 9 pm to save electricity amid an energy crunch faced by the province.

Ikram Junaidi also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2022

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