Karachi traders agree to close markets at 8pm

People shop at a market in Karachi in this file photo. — AFP

KARACHI: The business community has agreed to follow the government’s energy conservation plan according to which markets will be closed by 8pm, marriage halls at 10 and restaurants at 11pm.

A consultative meeting of the city administration and representatives of business organisations was held at the office of Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon on Thursday.

During the meeting, the Karachi commissioner explained the policy of the federal government to save energy amid rising costs of fuel and sought cooperation from the traders in this regard.

After the consultations, he announced the decision to close shops and markets at 8pm, wedding halls at 10pm and restaurants at 11pm in the metropolis.

Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon said that the government has completed consultations with trade and business organisations under energy-saving measures.

The majority of trade associations in the meeting assured full cooperation in the implementation of the decision of the government.

Earlier this week, the National Economic Council (NEC) decided to order the closure of markets across the country at 8:30pm.

The NEC took the decision during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and attended by the chief ministers of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was represented by its chief secretary Dr Shehzad Khan.

The chief ministers had appreciated the steps taken by the federal government to deal with the energy crisis and the four provinces agreed on the proposal of markets’ closure at 8:30pm.

However, the chief ministers of Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan sought two-day time to hold consultations with the trader associations in their provinces — but all the four provinces agreed with the move in principle.

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