Early markets closure on the anvil
The government on Tuesday unveiled several measures aimed at saving energy, including the early closing of markets and marriage halls and promoting the use of less power-consuming electrical appliances and appliances, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said.
Briefing the media after a federal cabinet meeting, Asif said that the government had prepared the National Energy Conservation Plan, which would be finalized in a few days and implemented from Thursday. The Centre, he added, will approach the provinces for the implementation of the plan.
“Energy conservation and conservation is a national cause, and we want to launch it with consensus,” Asif told reporters. “The federal government will consult the provinces for their input on these savings measures,” the defense minister said.
According to the minister, all markets, restaurants and hotels would close at 20:00. Similarly, he said, marriage halls will close by 10 pm, adding that these measures could save Rs62 billion. “The Ministry of Information will conduct a campaign to create awareness among the masses about the utility of these measures.”
Asif said older fans used 120 to 130 watts of electricity, but newer fans used about 40 to 60 watts. The use of the new gadgets will save Rs15 billion, while the use of LED [light-emitting diode] light bulbs would save Rs23 billion. Overall, he added, a strict use of fans and air conditioners could save up to 9,000 MW of electricity.
Among other things, Asif said if 20% workforce in the government institutions work from home, there will be a saving of Rs56 billion. He announced the launch of the E-bikes in the country soon, which will save Rs86 billion.
“Inside the offices, too much light is used a lot,” he said. At home, he added, the government also planned to reduce the use of gas. “The gas supply companies will provide backup devices for geysers. This will save Rs92 billion annually,” the minister said.
“The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, discussed in detail the impact of this policy of implementing austerity measures. It will become part of our national culture and also help the nation to get rid of the prevailing financial problems,” the defense minister told the media.
Responding to a question, Asif said that the Prime Minister reaffirmed the recent statement of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the United Nations about India’s ruling party. “The foreign minister spoke on behalf of all the people of Pakistan. The entire nation pays tribute to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” he added.
Also present at the press conference, Advisor to Prime Minister on Kashmir Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of Foreign Minister Bilawal to highlight the Kashmir issue at the UN. He added that Pakistanis were the worst victims of terrorism.
On the energy saving measures, Kaira said that Pakistan’s import bill was $26 to $28 billion. “We expect the provincial governments and parties, including trade organizations, to support our proposals and follow them as a path to the country’s survival and prosperity.”
(WITH INPUT FROM NEWS ASSOCIATIONS)