According to Karachi’s Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon, markets and shopping malls will be closed as part of the federal government’s plan for energy conservation. The policy mandates the closure of these establishments by 8:30 pm.
Additionally, Deputy Commissioners have been instructed to make sure that restaurants and wedding venues are shut down by 10 p.m. These directives are in line with those issued by Islamabad in response to the nation’s ongoing energy crisis.
Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister, announced a number of austerity measures earlier this week in an effort to save Rs 200 billion. As the nation works to comply with the IMF’s requirements, these actions are intended to keep it afloat.
The government’s energy conservation plan was announced earlier, and the measures were recently revealed at a press conference by the prime minister. He issued a warning that the centre and the provinces would cut off the power to markets and malls that disobeyed the rule and failed to close by 8:30 pm.
A new energy conservation plan was approved by the federal government in January 2023. In addition, the plan calls for the closure of markets and malls by 8:30 pm. as well as the banning of inefficient appliances. The latter measure is expected to save the country approximately Rs 62 billion annually.
The government is attempting to cut costs across various sectors in light of the current economic climate. Since the beginning of February, discussions regarding the policy framework have been taking place with the IMF. Pakistan hopes to sign an agreement at the staff level to enable increased funding from bilateral and multilateral lenders.
The IMF will release a tranche of more than $1 billion from the $6.5 billion bailout facility signed in 2019 once the programme is restarted. Since Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are currently only $3 billion, which is barely enough to cover a month’s worth of imports, the country’s economy has been in turmoil and requires external financing.
Accordingly, the government’s measures are aimed at reducing costs in various sectors and mitigating the ongoing energy crisis, which will help stabilize the country’s economy.