ISLAMABAD - In order to provide relief to customers, Utility Stores Corporation’s super markets and mini markets will remain open from 9am to 10 pm.

According to officials, the Utility Stores Corporation has directed its all major stores to remain open from 9am to 10 pm, while the small convenience stores will close at 6pm. There are more than 2000 mini markets and super markets across the country, while the number of convenience stores is 5500.

There are 14000 staff members at stores serving the nation from morning to evening, official said. The new timings no doubt suit the customers but on other hand the staff members are not happy. “Since the new notification issued, the store in charges are compelling us to work round the clock, without realising that the staff members are observing fasts too,” said Zulfiqar Ali, an employee of a convenient store. He said if the timings have to be increased, new staff must be hired. “The timings must be eight working hours. Anything more than official working hours will kill us,” said Yasin, another employee.

The government has approved a special package of Rs1.6 billion for utility stores for the month of Ramazan. Under the package, prices of nineteen food items have been slashed to provide relief to general public. The food items include rice, tea, sugar, pulses, flour, milk and cold drinks. Due to price difference the stores are jammed pack from morning till evening.