FEDERAL cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday approved the enforcement of energy conservation plan with immediate effect which if implemented successfully will help the government save billions of rupees.
Amongst others measures, it envisages the closure of markets by 8.30 pm and that of wedding halls by 10 pm.
Given the looming threat of default and the rising energy import bill which touched twenty three billion dollars during the last fiscal year, the measures announced by the government are need of the hour to save scarce foreign exchange reserves.
These will also go a long way in reducing our carbon footprints in the medium to long term as well as help address the lingering issue of circular debt which currently stands at Rs 2.437 trillion.
Also nowhere in the world especially the European countries markets remain open till late at night.
The businesses in these countries use the day light for their operations and start closing with the sunset except the essential services such as hospitals and medical stores.
We should also bring a positive and healthy change in our life style and especially the business community should rely more on the sunlight instead of the expensive electricity to run their operations.
Doing so will also bring down their electricity bills. If the markets will tune to the new timings, the customers too will adjust themselves accordingly.
Hence, there will be no cut in the sales of markets. Instead of opposing the move, the business community must be forthcoming to implement the conservation plan wholeheartedly.
Otherwise, the government has the resources at its disposal to get the plan implemented. Under no circumstances, the government should accept the blackmailing of the shopkeepers and restaurant owners.
As was done in the wake of breakout of Covid-19, police force should be used to get the markets and wedding halls closed by the given time.
Provincial governments must extend full cooperation with the centre in this matter. There is also dire need to launch a full fledged operation against those involved in power and gas pilferage.
Such elements should be given exemplary punishment. During the cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister also directed to reduce the usage of electricity in public sector departments by thirty percent.
Private sector should also follow the suit. In addition, the plan of converting the public sector buildings to solar energy must be implemented at the earliest as this will drastically help the government cut down its expenditure.
The industries should be fully facilitated and given incentives that aim to build energy efficient products.
We also need to focus on fully exploiting the indigenous resources for cheap electricity generation as well as exploration of natural resources such as oil and gas to put the country on solid economic footing.