LAHORE - The federal government has issued directives to all the provincial governments to implement Shops and Establishment Ordinance 1969 and take action under labour law against the owners of such shops and stores, which are flouting the government orders regarding closure of shops at 8:00pm. The government is enforcing the said Ordinance to ensure early closure of shops and markets across the country to make energy conservation plan a success. The labour laws enshrined in the said ordinance will work as an effective tool against the shops owners and business establishments, which are not complying with governments orders to close shops at 8pm, an official, who is close to the development, told The Nation. The ordinance restricts employers from taking labour from employees at shops and business centres in excess of nine hours between starting from 9am. According to the ordinance time for opening and closure of shops is 9am to 8pm respectively. Protecting rights of labour, the law says no employees shall work at any shop for more than nine hours a day. Now the government will use the same law for such purpose and the shop owners will be asked to close their business at 8:00pm so that all labour like salesmen and other employees working in shops or markets places may be free before 8:00pm. Sources said the cases/FIRs will be registered in future against owners of such shops and stores who fail to free the labour at 8pm under the ordinance. The District Coordination Officers (DCOs) have been asked to implement the said ordinance to support the federal government in its effort to save energy under the conservation plan. However directions underline the need of taking traders unions in confidence to avoid any protest from the traders community against the decision of implementation of the law, which clashes with their interests. The ordinance reads No shop shall on any day remain open after 8pm, provided any customer was waiting to be served at such hours. The traders may keep their shops open maximum upto 8:30pm. This law was promulgated in 1969 for determining the timing of shops and markets places but it could not be implemented for one reason or other. However, the now matter not only relates to protecting the rights of labour at such business places but also linked to saving the energy consumed in the late night in business activities, they said. DCO Lahore Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta told The Nation that under the shops and establishment ordinance 1969 the shopkeepers who fail to close their shops after 8pm can be sent to jail. He said energy conservation plan has been a success in Lahore except small violations from traders about timing. Some traders keep shops open till 9pm but they have been asked to obey the order at persuasive level to avoid any protest by the community, he said. He said till now no FIR has been registered against any trader or shopkeeper but it may be done in future if the ordinance is not enforced in letter and spirit.