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LAHORE: In order to cope with the prevailing energy and power crisis in the country, Punjab government has decided to close all shops in commercial markets and Shopping Malls at 9 pm across the province from Monday (today).

Notification in this regard has been issued and it shall come into force with effect from Monday (Today) the 20th June, 2022.

According to notification cinema halls, theatres, commercial and industrial buildings, restaurants, clubs, cafes and Tandoors will be closed at 11pm at night across the province.

As per notification, “All shops including wholesale or retails, shopping malls, bakeries and confectionaries, offices, store rooms, warehouses or places of works, whether in the same premises or otherwise mainly used in connection with such trade or business and meeting/ gathering places will remain close at 9pm”.

The notification further said “All establishments commercial or industrial, restaurants, clubs, Tandoors, eating houses, cafes, cinemas, theatres, circus houses or other places of public amusement or entertainment will also remained close at 11.30pm.”

“All pharmacies and medical stores, hospitals and laboratories, petrol pumps, CNG stations, tyre repair shops will be exempted from this closing hour.

“Service areas on motorways and roadside shops on highways and milk shops will also be exempted from this condition.

Decision was taken to save energy in consultation with the business community across the province. Marriage halls would remain open till 10 pm.

It may be mentioned here that leading business leaders were not happy with the decision. Hence the leadership of main markets and bazaars did not participate in the consultation process with the government.

The key traders of Bilal Ganj Market, Badami Bagh Auto Parts Market, Shah Alam Market, Loha Market, Badami Bagh, Azam Cloth Market, Anarkali Baza, Abid Market, Ichhra Bazaar and more than eight blocks were ignored in the consultation process.

Bilal Ganj Market President Rehan Chaudhary refused to close the market at 9 pm.

Haji Ashfaq, president of Ichhra Bazaar, refused to close the market at 9 pm. Trade leaders of Azam Textile Market and Shah Alam Market have also expressed concerns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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