Punjab follows Sindh’s lead and limits market hours to 9 p.m. as part of an energy-saving initiative.
The Punjab government announced on Saturday that it would limit the operating hours of markets, shopping malls, wedding halls, and restaurants as part of an energy conservation campaign. After consulting with the province’s business community, Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz made the decision.
According to a post-meeting handout from the Directorate of General Public Relations, markets, bazaars, and business centres will close at 9 p.m., restaurants at 11:30 p.m., and marriage halls at 10 p.m.
The restrictions will not apply to medical stores, and the business community will be given a break on Saturdays. CM Hamza Shehbaz stated that the policy on Eidul Azha shopping hours would be reviewed in collaboration with the business community.
The Punjab government’s decision comes just one day after the Sindh government enacted similar legislation. According to a notification issued by Sindh’s Home Secretary Dr Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, the measures were necessary due to widespread power outages and loadshedding in order to reduce the gap between demand and supply of electricity.
As a result, the notification stated that it was “necessary and expedient to enforce certain restrictions in order to control the increasing shortfall between energy generation and its utilisation, so that this prevalent emergency of energy shortfall may be controlled, which otherwise could have long-term and multi-sectoral impacts on the lives of the general public of Sindh province.”
There have been reports of long periods of loadshedding across the country, leaving people to suffer in extreme heat. The current government has blamed its predecessor, the PTI, for the energy crisis.