WHILE the governments new course of action to confront loadshedding announced by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday may not be disappointing, it stops short of dealing with the scourge in a fitting manner. It becomes mandatory to take into account the reservations expressed by the business community in Punjab and elsewhere. Measures like closure of markets at 8 PM in the evening seem a trifle harsh and have sent shockwaves among the traders. This decision, which is basically a part of the conservation strategy, may appear to be attractive, but it would be foolhardy to overlook its flipside. Given the scorching heat and humidity and a summer that seems to be breaking past records, it is only after sunset that commerce picks up momentum. Normally people venture out of their homes and head for the commercial areas for shopping in the evening when the temperature cools down a bit. So shutting down the markets when the business is at rush hour is rather nonsensical. No wonder the traders are outraged and have refused to talk with Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, staging protest rallies in Lahore instead. One hopes that they would remain calm; but at the same time, it is the paramount responsibility of the government to see to it that the conservation plan it has crafted is not at the cost of their bread and butter. A more realistic option would be to relax the closing time to 9 PM. This would definitely provide the shopkeepers with sufficient time for business. Secondly, the decision to have two weekly holidays would again do more harm than good. It is common knowledge that our bureaucracy starting from clerks to officers are proverbial clock-watchers. So by giving them another day off the government is only approving of this negative tendency of evading work. One cannot help but look at the prosperous nations from around the globe, whose secret of success is nothing else but the fact that they work excessively hard. Fears that the new energy plan would land us into a bigger mess are intensified by PTI leader Imran Khans worry that the government was only interested in getting kickbacks out of the shady deal with foreign power companies and was least bothered about the public which would have to pay phenomenally high charges. The federal set-up must not forget that its duty is to supply cheap and sufficient electricity to the country. There is simply no point in initiating any scheme or project if it isnt people friendly. And the critics who judge the government by the way it has handled the energy crisis arent wrong when they say that it is simply dysfunctional.