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The Sindh government on Friday announced markets, restaurants, marriage halls and hotels will shut early, in a bid to conserve energy. The decision will remain in force from June 17 (today) to July 16.

As per a notification from the Sindh Home Department, all markets, bazars, shops and malls will close by 9pm.

Marriage and banquet halls will close by 10:30pm, while hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and cafes must shut by 11pm.

The new rules are not applicable to medical stores, pharmacies, hospitals, petrol pumps, CNG stations, bakeries and milk shops.

Sindh trying for energy self-sufficiency via renewables, says secretary

Pakistan is facing a daunting power crisis due to which the government has resorted to load-shedding all over the country.

The notification said that due to the power outages and load-shedding, and in order to reduce the shortfall between the supply and demand of electricity, there is an urgent need to take effective measures for conservation of energy in Sindh.

It said it has devised a two-pronged balance approach — utilise day light hours for business activities and minimise the possible adverse impact on the business activities.

According to the provincial government, the federal cabinet decided on June 7 to take measures to reduce load-shedding hours through conservation of energy. The meeting also demanded implementation of a national strategy for tackling the energy crisis.

The country is still facing up to 10 hours load-shedding in urban and rural areas driven in part by peak temperature driven demand.

No respite in electricity load-shedding

Presently, the generation in the country is about 20,000 MW against demand of 28,000 MW of which 25,000 MW is regular demand in the country. This excludes K-Electric, which is also getting up to 1,100 MW from national grid, while over 3,000 MW is based on high-loss feeders.

Last week, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the previous PTI government was responsible for the load-shedding as it neither established any new power plant nor a added a single megawatt of electricity in the system.

Power loadshedding to be reduced from today: ex-PM

Traders associations reject notification

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) has refused to comply with the provincial government's decision, saying it will destroy their suffering businesses.

Reacting to the notification, APAT President Ajmal Baloch said that the government should retract its decision as it will prove to be fatal.

He said that the traders were facing hours of load shedding in the daytime, whereas buyers also avoid coming out in the scorching heat. If the markets are closed earlier than usual, their businesses will suffer a great deal, he added.

He asserted that the Sindh Tajir Ittehad rejects this decision. “We will resist if the government uses force to close markets,” he added.

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