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Punjab smog holidays: Government exempts foreign call and IT centres from 'lockdown'

10:34 PM | 9 Nov, 2023
Lahore smog
Source: Twitter

The Punjab caretaker government on Thursday revised its notification and exempted call centres and international IT centres from the “lockdown” imposed in multiple districts of the province to curb smog.

On Wednesday, the Punjab government announced a public holiday on November 10 (Friday) in Lahore, Gujranwala and other districts due to heavy smog in the province.

The Punjab government notification says, "It is notified for general information that a Public Holiday shall be observed on 10th November 2023 (Friday) in Lahore Division (District Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur), District Gujranwala, District Hafizabad, District Sialkot & District Narowal, due to smog, except those offices exempted by Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department."

In a revised notification, the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department notified that call centres and international information technology centres will be allowed to operate on Friday (November 10).

What is exempted from the lockdown?

Pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centers, petrol pumps, oil depots, tandoors, bakeries, grocery and Karyana stores, dairy shops, sweet shops, vegetable, and fruit shops, chicken and meat shops were also exempted from the restrictions.

Postal and courier services, e-commerce, cellular networks, and telecom centers will also remain open on October 10.

While markets in the eight smog-hit districts will be allowed to operate today and tomorrow; however, shopping malls and markets will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. The notification also states that cinema halls, restaurants and gyms will remain open today as per routine.

The decision will remain in effect in Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala Narowal, Hafizabad and Sialkot.

An environmental and health emergency was declared in Lahore, Gujranwala and Hafizabad divisions on Wednesday for four days due to smog.

Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday when the air quality index (AQI) in the city measured 390, falling under the category of hazardous.

At this AQI level, the city maintained its position as one of the most polluted cities with citizens experiencing a hazy and smoggy atmosphere throughout the day. The air quality was severely poor, making it nearly impossible to breathe normally outdoors.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 29 Feb 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 29, 2024 (Thursday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.1 for buying and 282.35 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352 for buying, and 355.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.3.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 29 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.1 282.35
Euro EUR 303 306
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352 355.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 76 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.3 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.11 751.11
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209.2
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.69 41.09
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.32 916.32
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.05 175.05
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.36 26.66
Omani Riyal OMR 725.68 733.68
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.04 27.34
Swiss Franc CHF 317.76 320.26
Thai Bhat THB 7.76 7.91

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