KARACHI: Karachi traders have rejected the government’s decision for early closure of markets and marriage halls under an energy conservation plan, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
The traders gave mixed reactions over the energy conservation plan in which the government’s announced the early closure of markets and other public places at 8:00 pm.
A large number of Karachi traders rejected the government’s decision and termed it ‘economic murder’ of the traders by the early closure of markets and marriage halls.
Electronic Dealers Association president Rizwan Irfan said the government should not take any decision without taking the traders in confidence. He added that Karachiites are already facing the menace of electricity and gas loadshedding.
He said that the implementation of such decisions by force will be resisted by the traders. He rejected the announcement of closing markets at 8:00 pm.
Anjuman-e-Tajiran Sindh president Javed Qureshi said that the traders have unanimously rejected the federal government’s decision.
Karachi Restaurants Association president Faizan Rawat said they rejected decision of closing the food outlets at 10:00 pm as the hotel businesses already start from 8:00 pm. He said that restaurants should be allowed to run till 11:00 pm besides being permitted to continue take away and online food delivery services.
Traders Anjuman-i-Tajiran Karachi president Ilyas Memon the decision is tantamount of the economic murder of thousands of families and it will worsen the economic situation. He demanded the federal government to review its decision.
Caterers and Decorators Association president Qais Mansoor Sheikh also rejected the government’s plan for early closure of restaurants and marriage halls. He said that the government has the responsibility to provide electricity and they have the duty to pay its charges.
Marriage Halls Association president Rana Raees condemned the federal government’s decision and termed it an unserious decision. He demanded to allow marriage halls be opened till 12:00 midnight.
Wholesale Grossers Association chairman Abdul Rauf Ibhrahim supported the federal government’s decision and said that it is the need of the time. He welcomed the federal government’s step to curb the energy crisis.
Energy conservation plan
The federal government announced an energy conservation plan, according to which all commercial centers and restaurants will shut at 8pm.
“All markets and shopping malls will be closed by 8pm across the country, said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while addressing a press conference along with other federal ministers to brief media about the decisions taken in cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.
He, however, said the timings of the restaurants may be extended by an hour.
The federal minister went on to say wedding halls will be closed at 10pm across Pakistan, adding that the decision would help Pakistan to save 8,000 to 9,000 megawatts of electricity and Rs62 billion in a year.
“Markets in other parts of the world are shut down by 6pm but they remain open beyond midnight in Pakistan,” said Khawaja Asif.
The federal minister further said that the government would take all four provinces on board regarding energy decisions and the final plan would be launched by Thursday with consensus.
Asif also said the government was mulling over introducing e-bikes. “The govt is also introducing e-bikes which will phase out the bikes that use petrol.”