Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday announced that the closing time of markets and businesses would be decided in consensus with traders’ associations and other stakeholders for an effective implementation of the national energy austerity drive.
Addressing a consultative meeting with the representatives of the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT), the minister affirmed the government’s vision to ensure energy conservation through less consumption in the commercial sector.
“The initiative is intended to help relieve the burden on the country’s foreign reserves that are being spent every year on the import of oil and gas to ensure power production,” said Asif.
“The country can no longer afford the import bill of fossil fuels for power production – comprising of 20% of the total import expenditure of $80 billion a year,” said Asif.
“Pakistan is blessed with sunshine on all 365 days of the year which can be utilised to generate cost-effective and eco-friendly energy,” he added.
APAT leaders Muhammad Naeem Mir and Ajmal Baloch also presented their recommendations and suggestions on the government’s proposal to implement the closure timings of markets at 8 pm, dining halls and restaurants at 10 pm.
The briefing on the government’s national energy austerity drive was presented by the Power Division Secretary Rashid Mahmood Langrial.