IN the backdrop of rumours and pressure tactics being applied by some vested interests, the Establishment Division on Friday issued a notification reaffirming that federal government offices shall continue to work six days a week.
From Monday to Thursday and Saturday, the office timing will start at 8am and end at 3pm. There will be a prayer break from 1pm to 1.30pm every day while timings for Friday will be from 8am to 1pm.
There is surely resentment among a section of the civil servants against abolition of the two-day weekend by the incumbent Prime Minister, who himself is known as work-alcoholic.
The critics are justifying two weekly holidays on the premise that it helps save electricity and that it affords an opportunity to government employees to supplement their income through extra-activities on holidays (especially weekly bazaars where some of them have put up stalls).
Federal Government employees are also planning to organize a protest in front of Pak Secretariat against the decision to revert back to one weekly holiday.
However, neither the arguments being advanced by them are valid nor it is their privilege to decide whether they should have one or two weekly holidays.
There is no evidence to suggest that two weekly holidays help conserve any significant amount of electricity when Punjab, the largest province of the country, never opted for two holidays and continued to six days a week.
Otherwise too, notwithstanding the existing shortfall caused by inefficiency of the previous government, the country is surplus in electricity and this capacity should be used for socio-economic development.
There was also an argument in the past that two holidays would help save transport expenditure in government offices but practically these increased as official transport is misused for family and private purposes for two days.
The ‘work from home’ is also no substitute to the team work/coordination, which helps improve performance and output of government offices.
A good decision needs to be appreciated by all and not opposed for the sake of petty personal interest and comfort.