LAHORE – The Punjab government on Tuesday refused to accept the federal government’s decision regarding early closure of markets, hotels and marriage halls as part of its energy saving plan to cut dependency on imported fuel for power generation.
The reaction from the provincial government where PTI is in power comes after the Centre announced the closure of markets at 8:30pm and wedding halls at 10pm. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while announcing the energy conservation plan said implementing the new schedule for markets and halls would help Pakistan save Rs62 billion.
Reacting to the federal government’s decision, Punjab senior minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said the provincial government was not taken on board in this regard. He said the Punjab government would discuss the matter with traders and representatives of chambers of commerce before taking the decision about closure of markets.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said the provincial government was yet to take a decision about implementing the Centre’s decision. Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, the special assistant to KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said: “We are have already placed in measure to conserve energy in the province”.
On the other hand, All-Pakistan Anjuman Tajiran (APAT) President Ajmal Balochh has also rejected the decision regarding earlier closure of markets, asserting that the shops and restaurants will not close before 10pm and 11pm, respectively.
He said that the PDM-led government had taken unilateral decisioni as the traders’ association had already submitted its reservations in this regard. He said the government should limit its power consumption instead of imposing curbs on traders.
He highlighted that the business community purchases the most expensive electricity, and therefore, favourable strategies should be nade for them.
Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
|UK Pound Sterling
|Hong Kong Dollar
|New Zealand Dollar