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Markets to shut down at 8pm, weddings till 10pm; Here’s how Pakistan plans to save money by conserving energy

Islamabad: Markets and restaurants across Pakistan will shut down by 8 pm while wedding halls will be closed at 10 pm, announced the country’s government on Tuesday in order to save money.

The Pakistan government on Tuesday unveiled its energy conservation plan, according to which all the markets and restaurants will be shut down at 8pm.

The country is in the midst of an acute energy crisis, high inflation and depleting remittances. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the catastrophic floods in June have only compounded the country’s energy woes.

Addressing the media, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the wedding halls will be closed at 10 pm.

The timings of the restaurants may be extended an hour or so, he added.

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WFH for govt workforce

Asif said that if 20 per cent of the government workforce worked from home on a rotation basis, Rs 56 billion could be saved and coupled with a few steps, the country would be able to save Rs 62 billion.

The minister also shared that the government was recommending switching street lights on alternately which will save about Rs 4 billion.

The government is also introducing e-bikes which will phase out the bikes that use petrol, he said.

“We have begun imports for e-bikes and have started negotiations with motorcycle companies for the modification of existing motorcycles, which will save around Rs 86 billion,” Pakistan Defence Minister said.

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Country in “grave economic crisis”

He called on the nation to “normalise” its behavioural patterns as the country was in a “grave economic crisis”, adding that “we can’t afford the culture of wastage anymore”.

“I also believe that politicians should be the first ones to adopt these changes and become role models for the public,” the minister added.

Foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan’s central bank State Bank of Pakistan have fallen to its four-year low of USD 6.72 billion in the week ending on December 2.

The central bank data showed the foreign exchange reserves were last recorded at this level during the week that ended on January 18, 2019 at USD 6.64 billion.

(With inputs from PTI)

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