Under new energy plan, markets to be closed by 8:30 pm

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Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, JAN 3: /DNA/ – The federal government has announced the energy conservation plan that will be implemented across the country.

Under this plan, all markets will be closed at 8:30pm and all marriage halls will be shut by 10pm across the country.

This was informed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif who was flanked by Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb during a press conference after a meeting of federal cabinet held in Islamabad under the chair of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday. 

The minister said that the cabinet approved the energy conservation plan today. He said through this plan the country would save Rs62 billion. He said that the plan would be implemented all over Pakistan. Kh Asif told the presser that the prime minister has ordered to reduce the electricity use in government offices by 30 percent. He said under the new plan, the fans powered by electricity will not be manufactured anymore from July 1 during the current year in order to save on energy. He said the additional duty will be levied on the inefficient electric fans which will help save Rs15 billion.

Khawaja Asif said a campaign will be launched on print, electronic and social media to create awareness amongst the people about the energy conservation plan. He said all government offices would buy energy-efficient gadgets and unnecessary use of electric appliances would be discouraged in these places. 

Kh Asif said that the cabinet created a precedent in this regard and held today’s meeting in daylight. While propounding the energy plan, he said that everywhere in the world markets open and close early. But the situation in Pakistan is other way round, he added. He held that we should make maximum use of daylight. 

He announced that the government has decided to put a ban on the use of common electricity bulbs and ‘we can save Rs22 billion in this way’. He said the government was mulling banning all extra energy-consuming gadgets. He said that the government has also decided to introduce electric motorcycles as motorbikes are consuming Rs3 billion oil annually. 

The defence minister said water rates will be reviewed in order to ensure the conservation of water. He said building control authorities will bring necessary reforms in by-laws of housing societies to ensure efficient use of water. The federal cabinet also approved reduction of maximum retail price of 20 medicines to provide relief to the common man.

Khawaja Asif said the FBR has been directed to publish a separate tax directory of the parliamentarians.