ISLAMABAD - The meeting of the Joint Action Committee of the traders has been deferred, which was supposed to devise future strategy on Thursday against the government’s decision of closing market at 8.00 pm.

“We have postponed the meeting of Joint Action Committee, scheduled today (Thursday), as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned deputy commissioner (DC) Islamabad to appear before the court on Monday in a writ petition challenging the federal government’s decision to close down shops at 8:00pm in the federal capital”, said Muzzamil Hussain Sabri President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while talking to The Nation.  He informed that business community would formulate future strategy against the government’s decision after the decision of the IHC. It is worth mentioning here that the traders of the federal capital on Tuesday observed shutter down strike by closing all major markets of the city to register their protest against the decision of closing markets early.  Later, the traders filed a petition in IHC against the government’s decision. The IHC in its first hearing held on Wednesday summoned Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad to appear before the court on May 4 on the issue of closing markets early in the city. The Cabinet Committee on Energy chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on April 8 decided to close the markets by 8pm in federal capital in a bid to save hundred of megawatt electricity.

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Thursday in a television interview said that decision of closing markets early would help in reducing the loadshedding timings by two hours. However, the business community believes that decision would result in massive revenue loss and increase in unemployment rate in the city.

Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President ICCI, claimed that the economic loss of closing markets by 8 p.m. deadline time were huge and put the number as high as Rs5 billion daily.