After the federal cabinet approved the energy conservation plan, federal defence minister Khawaja Asif announced on Tuesday that all markets will close at 8:30 p.m. and wedding venues would close at 10 p.m.
Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, speaking at a news conference with fellow ministers Sherry Rehman, Khurrum Dastgir, and Marriyum Aurangzeb, declared that “all shops and retail malls would be closed by 8:30pm and wedding halls by 10:00pm throughout the nation.”
Khawaja Asif, briefing the media on the choices made by the government during a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, said that the country could save between 8,000 and 9,000 megawatts of power and Rs62 billion per year by implementing the plan.
Markets in other parts of the globe close at 6 p.m., but in Pakistan they don’t close until beyond midnight, as Khawaja Asif put it.
The federal minister also added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered a 30% reduction in power use in federal government buildings as part of the energy-saving strategy.
He also said that the Cabinet has asked for a report on the feasibility of allowing employees to sometimes or permanently work from home.
More importantly, he said that this year will see the introduction of e-bikes by the federal government. According to Khawaja Asif, the government has opted to employ street lights instead, a move he says would save Rs4 billion.
The minister of defence further said that production of incandescent bulbs will cease as of February 1, 2023. As an extra bonus, “we can save Rs22 billion by doing this,” he said.
The minister continued by saying the current federal government has talked to all provinces and stakeholders and has the backing of President Arif Alvi for its agenda.
I have requested that President Alvi contact the governments of KP and Punjab about enforcing an energy-savings strategy.
Asif stated that a media campaign will be undertaken by the Ministry of Information to inform the public of these new regulations.