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This is apropos a Business Recorder news item “Closure of shops by 8pm: Policy hinges on provinces’ nod of acknowledgement” carried by the newspaper yesterday. According to it, Federal Minister for Defence, Khwaja Asif has said the federal government will persuade provinces to implement energy conservation policy, which envisages closure of shops by 8pm and wedding halls’ by 10pm in view of the current difficult economic situation.

The federal government, in my view, deserves a lot of praise for taking this seemingly unpopular step that can further hit its political capital. That the country is no longer is able to foot the energy import bill is a fact. Not only is the energy import bill expanding or rising, the country is also witnessing a huge decline in its foreign exchange reserves. Hence the need for energy conservation to drastically reduce the energy import bill in particular.

Why are we still averse to the concept of daylighting, which, essentially is a way to provide energy services without using fuels, just the direct use of a primary energy flows. This will require our shopkeepers to open up their shops by 8am or 9am, not by noon, every day. They will, therefore, be able to avoid any reduction in their working or business hours. The provinces and businesses alike must acquiesce to the energy (in fact fuel) conservation policy wholeheartedly.

Tehsin Raza (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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