Businessmen show concerns over early closure of markets & shops

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) called a meeting of all markets unions of Islamabad to discuss the decision of the Federal Government taken in the 12th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) for closure of all markets and shops in the federal capital by 8:00 pm as a part of energy conservation measures.

Speaking at the occasion, the business community showed great concerns over the unilateral decision of the government to shut down markets and shops by 8:00 pm in Islamabad in order to save energy and said that being key stakeholders in the matter, government should have taken them into confidence before arriving at such an important decision.

They said energy deficit was a long standing issue of the country that have already taken a heavy toll on business and industrial activities and it was the dire need of the country that government should have given top priority and utilized all possible resources to address this national issue.

They said construction of roads and motorways was important for the country, but government should give first preference to cope with energy crisis because without ensuring uninterrupted energy supply to business and industry, it was not possible to run the wheel of the economy smoothly and achieve sustainable economic growth.

Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said business community was ready to fully cooperate with the government in its initiatives aimed at energy conservation; however, government should utilize all options to save trade and industry from any harmful consequences.

He said 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm were peak hours for business during summer season as consumers normally do shopping at night and forcing early closure of markets and shops would not only create difficulties for consumers, it will also prove harmful for business activities.

Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman, ICCI Founder Group said that if Government ensures uninterrupted power supply in markets and business centers from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the traders could consider closing shops after 9:00 pm. He said an across the board policy should be adopted in this matter.

Presidents Traders Welfare Associations of Jinnah Super, Super Market, F-10 Markaz, Blue Area, I-9 Markaz, Melody Market, Peshaware More Market, G-9 Markaz, G-11 Markaz and many other markets were present at the occasion. DNA

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