KARACHI - President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mian Abrar Ahmad has expressed deep concern and rejected proposal of 5-day working week for all government departments and its affiliated institutions in the name of energy conservation. President KCCI said that the country was passing through most difficult times of its history when the fragile economy due to manifold internal and external problems was demanding to work 365 days in year for its recovery. He strongly opposed the two-holiday proposal likely to be submitted in scheduled Energy Conference to be chaired by Prime Minister. He said that previous practice by the government when 5-day week was observed for public sector, customs and ports severely hampered the commercial and industrial activity, exports of consignments and timely clearance of goods were suffered. He said that due to such practice Pakistan remained cut off for three and half days with rest of the world. Mian Abrar was of the view that to uplift the economy, govt must consider curtailing the gazetted holidays and rejecting the proposals of bureaucracy for two weekly holidays. and advancing the clock in the name of energy conservation. He stated that such exercises proved futile in the past and every segment of life was disturbed by such activity. Mian Abrar stated that nowhere in the world, banks close when the commerce and industrial sector is operative even in the countries where 5-days week is observed and commercial banks are open on Saturdays. Exporters maintaining trade ties with Gulf countries faced additional elimination of Friday being observed as holiday in Gulf. Same is for the customs and ports and they cannot be close down for two days as their closure will stop valuable exports of this country and timely clearance of imported goods. The Chamber voiced that conservation was a dire need of the day but same must not be done while penalising the commerce and industry and ultimately this will severely impede the business activities leading to decline in governments revenue and economic instability. President KCCI also urged the government to look into the matters of forceful strikes by political, ethic and religious elements. He was of the view that to curtail the government expenditure and conserve energy, austerity measures should be taken to minimise and control the management and administrative costs, power transmission and distribution losses, improve distribution of power and gas, introduce conservation management system and eradicate corruption.