The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) backs the decision of the caretaker government to close markets and commercial centres by 7pm from October 1 to save energy, calling it a step toward a more civilized society.
Talking to media, PBF Punjab Chairman Muhammad Naseer Malik said steps for energy conservation recommended under this plan, such as the closure of shops and commercial centres by 8pm, switching to LED lights and upgrading geysers to make them more energy efficient, could help the country save up to $1 billion annually.
PBF District President of Sargodha, Faisalabad, Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin; Abdullah Mumtaz Kahloon, Mian Kashif Zia, Momin Ali Malik and Mirza Abdul Ghani respectively also accompanied him.
The chairman stated that neither Europe nor the United States could afford the luxury of keeping commercial areas open until 12 in the night. No country has a lifestyle as irresponsible as ours.
He added that circular debt is eating the country like termites and this move will save electricity and that the provinces have agreed to implement this decision as well which was appreciated.
The PBF district presidents also suggested that the district administration should ensure that shops open at 10a.m in the morning giving traders enough time to conduct their daily operations.
They further said that many countries had achieved the goal of self-reliance in a few years with less resources than Pakistan because in these countries, distribution of resources and awarding of influential people in the name of reforms was stopped for the sake of national development.
They said that people had been suffering from unprecedented inflation, high electricity bills, unemployment and economic crisis for many years, but now their patience is waning, therefore steps to improve the situation should be started without delay.
The PBF Punjab chairman said that the wholesale, retail, and real estate sectors had the potential to bring in Rs747 billion in tax revenue and in this regard the PBF suggested that FBR POS machines with sales tax and with out sales tax registration system based on traders registration number before the FBR may be placed at all shops cash counters in all four provinces, so that customers may also get verified QR code invoices from the shopkeepers in order to discourage the cash economy.