Markets to close by 8:30pm as govt unveils energy conservation plan

Markets to close by 8:30pm as govt unveils energy conservation plan

Islamabad (Web Desk): The federal government has approved the enforcement of energy conservation plan with immediate effect.

According to details, the plan was approved during a meeting of the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Briefing the media after a meeting of the federal cabinet, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif, along with other cabinet members, shared the salient features of the energy conservation plan,

"Under the plan, the markets will close down by 8.30 pm and restaurants by 10pm," the minister said, adding that this will help save Rs62 billion.

Khawaja Asif said the production of inefficient electricity fans will be stopped from the first of July. He said additional duty will be levied on the inefficient electric fans which will help save Rs15 billion.

The defence minister said a campaign will be launched on the print, electronic and social media to create awareness amongst the people about the energy conservation plan.He said water rates will be reviewed in order to ensure the conservation of water.

The minister said building control authorities will bring necessary reforms in by laws of housing societies to ensure efficient use of water.

"Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during the cabinet meeting directed to reduce the usage of electricity in all federal departments by 30%," he said, adding that the premier also directed to avoid unnecessary use of electric appliances in all the offices.

The federal cabinet also approved reduction of maximum retail price of twenty medicines to provide relief to the common man.

"The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been directed to publish a separate tax directory of the parliamentarians," Khawaja Asif said.

"Manufacturing of incandescent light bulbs will be stopped from the 1st of February 1," he said, adding that this will help save Rs22 billion rupees.

Khawaja Asif said all the public sector departments will ensure use of efficient energy appliances while alternate street lights will be switched on.

The defence minister said conical baffles will be installed in geysers in a matter of one year to ensure conservation of gas which is anticipated to help save Rs92 billion.

Khawaja Asif said that electric bikes are being introduced in the country to save $3 billion currently being spent on the use of petrol in motorbikes.

As regards work from home policy, the minister said that a committee headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will review this proposal and a decision on the matter will be taken in a matter of eight to ten days.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman said that the new energy conservation plan will help in coping with the dangerous impacts of climate change.
Minister for Power Engineer Ghulam Dastgir Khan, while responding to a question, said that there is no plan to privatise any department.