Print Print 2023-01-04

Early closure of markets announced

  • Markets to close by 8.30pm, wedding halls by 10pm; Punjab rejects plan, KPK is ambivalent
  • Prices of 20 essential medicines decreased
Published January 4, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, on Tuesday, approved the Energy Conservation Plan, under which, all wedding halls will be closed at 10pm and the markets/ malls will be closed at 8:30pm and also approved 30 per cent decrease in prices of 20 essential medicines while rates of 54 new medicines have been fixed.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while briefing the media along with federal ministers, said that the cabinet has approved the implementation of the energy conservation plan, which will be effective immediately across Pakistan, according to which all marriage halls across the country should close at 10 pm and markets at 8:30 pm.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister Khuram Dastgir, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, and Federal Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasay were also present.

Asif said Rs62 billion will be saved by restricting working hours of wedding halls, restaurants, markets, additional duty will be imposed on inefficient electric fans, which will save Rs15 billion.

He stressed lifestyle change with reference to energy consumption, saying, “Our habits are different from the rest of the world; we produce our own energy instead of natural energy, which incurs production costs.”

Energy saving plan: Cabinet to expedite consultations with stakeholders

He said that natural resources must be used to obtain energy, electricity consumption should be reduced by 30 per cent in all federal government institutions, and unnecessary use of electrical equipment should be avoided in all offices.

He said that the federal cabinet has approved the implementation of the energy conservation plan on the recommendation of the Power Division, which will be implemented immediately in the whole of Pakistan.

The traders have been taken into confidence too; they are agreed to this initiative, he further said, adding that this policy will save Rs62 billion by restricting the working hours of wedding halls, restaurants, and markets.

Inefficient electric fans will not be able to be manufactured in factories after July 1, additional duty will be imposed on inefficient electric fans, this will save Rs15 billion.

He said that 29,000-MW of electricity is used in summer and 12,000 MW in winter, 5,300 of the electricity used in summer is air-conditioned and the rest of the electricity is used for fans and lights, only fans consume 12,000 MW of electricity.

Most of them are inefficient fans; there are energy-saving fans in the market; from January 1, 2023, old transparent bulbs will no longer be manufactured; all government institutions should use energy-saving devices. He said that energy saving reforms are being implemented across the country, maintenance cost of cement, brick and glass buildings is high, building codes are being introduced.

The defence minister said that conical baffles have been made mandatory in geysers. These baffles will be installed in geysers in one year. This will save gas, saving 92 billion rupees is expected; streetlights will be operated by 50 percent. Three billion dollars’ worth of fuel is used annually in motorcycles; e-bikes will be gradually introduced to reduce this consumption.

The defence minister said that an awareness campaign regarding energy saving will be conducted through print, electronic and social media. PEMRA will ensure energy saving campaign through private TV and radio channels.

Sustainable use is very important for the economy, as well as, for environmental protection. The steps taken by the present government to save energy will have long-lasting results, he added.

He said that the committee will make final recommendations on the proposal to work from home.

The minister said that the FBR has been asked to publish a separate tax directory of parliamentarians so that people have information about the tax payment on behalf of their representatives.

Sherry Rehman said that low and sustainable use of energy is very important to protect the environment. The situation will improve by using alternative sources of energy, adding we need to change our habits. She said that saving in energy consumption will reduce the import bill which will benefit the economy. While talking about climate change, she said that the causes of climate change include unsustainable use of energy.

Pakistan is among the countries most affected by the effects of climate change, while its share in the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change is less than one percent. Natural disasters are the result of climate change which needs to be controlled by more plantations besides saving energy consumption as well as focusing on alternative sources of energy.

Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel presented the summary, recommending cut in prices of medicines related to treatment of blood pressure, cancer, and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Muhammad Kashif Jan 04, 2023 01:23pm
Does the government have power to implement its decision on the traders when two provincial governments are also disobeying the decision? Some weeks ago the same government has surrendered before the traders when the government tried to impose taxes on the traders.
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Adal Jan 04, 2023 02:23pm
Too little too late! Why not cut on the non essential expenditures like meeting expenses, PM House, Ministries, Presidency, bureaucrats accomodations, all vehicles reduction, fuel expenses reduction. If the measures are taken with even handedness then it will bear results otherwise it will amount to eyewash or veru negligible impact.
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