Punjab follows Sindh’s lead, limits market timings to 9pm

The Punjab government announced on Saturday that it would limit the operating hours of marketplaces, shopping malls, wedding halls, and eateries as part of an energy-saving 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, marketplaces, bazaars, and business centers would close at 9 p.m., restaurants at 11:30 p.m., and marriage halls at 10 p.m.

The limits 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 reconsidered in collaboration with the business community.

According to the handout, the business community representatives at the meeting fully supported and welcomed the government’s actions to deal with the energy problem.

The Punjab government’s decision came just one day after the Sindh government enacted identical legislation.

According to a notification issued by Sindh’s Home Secretary, Dr. Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, the measures were necessary due to widespread power failures and load-shedding to decrease the gap between demand and supply of electricity.

It was reported that on June 7, the federal cabinet determined to take adequate measures to reduce load-shedding by conserving energy and mitigating the effects of the country’s anticipated energy shortfall through a national strategy.

As a result, the notification stated that it was “necessary and expedient to enforce certain restrictions to control the increasing shortfall between energy generation and its utilization, 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 load-shedding around the country, leaving people to endure extreme heat.

The current government has blamed its predecessor, the PTI, for the energy crisis.

On June 4, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif requested an “emergency strategy” to halt load-shedding.