ISLAMABAD - The federal government has accepted the demand of business community for closure of markets of the federal capital at 10:00pm.
Earlier, the government had announced that markets would be closed at sharp 8:00pm and the business community held protests and shutter-down strike to press the government against its decision.
“The Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has accepted the demand of businessmen and extended shops closures timing in Islamabad up to 10:00pm,” said MNA Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry while addressing a press conference along with traders .
Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of the reservations of business community and agreed to allow traders to close shops by 10:00pm. He said there would be no electricity load-shedding in markets from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and those who want to keep shops open from 9:00pm to 10:00pm could utilise UPS or generators. However, he appealed to traders to cooperate with the government and ensure closure of shops in Islamabad by 10:00pm. He clarified that there would be no time limit for restaurants and they have been exempted from this decision.
Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman Traders Joint Action Committee, and Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, thanked Prime Minister Sharif, Dr Chaudhry and the government for giving due consideration to the demand of business community and allowing them to close shops in Islamabad by 10:00pm. They said this great achievement was the result of strong unity in the ranks of local traders who came together at a single platform under the umbrella of ICCI for protection of their business interests.
They said business community should maintain this spirit of unity because their united voice would be given due weightage by the government and traders would be able to get their problems resolved more effectively.
The federal cabinet’s energy conservation committee had taken decision on 8th April 2015 under the chair of Prime Minister Sharif to close shops in Islamabad by 8:00pm as a part of energy conservation measures.
However, the traders strongly opposed this move and went for one day’s complete shutter-down strike. Then Prime Minister Sharif deputed Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to convince traders for closure of shops by 9:00pm.
However, traders were insistent on closing shops by 10:00pm and finally the government acceded to their demand.