Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. This article will discuss “Shop Owners and Traders Reject Govt Energy Saving Plan”. The government’s decision to close markets and commercial centers by 8 pm starting from 1 July as an energy-saving measure has been opposed by the All Pakistan Traders Association (APTA). The Planning and Development Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, announced this during a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, chaired a meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) where they made the decision and approved estimated budget figures.
The plan included various actions, such as shutting down markets at 8:30 pm and wedding halls at 10 pm. It aimed to encourage the use of energy-efficient electronic devices, decrease power usage in government offices by 40 percent. It impose extra charges on inefficient electric fans, promote the use of LED bulbs, introduce electric bikes, phase out petrol-run motorcycles, and reduce street lighting capacity by 50 percent.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) aims to involve provincial governments in implementing the National Energy Conservation Plan. They stressed that the country could reduce its fuel import bill by more than 10-15 percent or Rs. 1 billion in a short time.
Minister Iqbal expressed hope that the provincial governments would effectively implement the approved energy conservation package, which has the potential to annually save the country up to $1 billion.
In response to the decision, APTA President Ajmal Baloch advised the government to reconsider its plan of closing shops at 8 pm. He argued that, particularly during the summer season, it would be inappropriate to shut down shops so early. Baloch highlighted the significance of the energy minister engaging in a constructive dialogue with traders to effectively resolve this issue.
He also expressed concerns regarding the power companies’ performance, which has not improved over the years. Additionally, he highlighted that previous decisions to close businesses early did not result in any positive outcomes.
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