Monday, November 28, 2022

Cabinet approves restoration of Saturday off in govt offices

The weekly off days on Saturday for government employees have been approved for reinstatement by the cabinet of the federal government.

The cabinet had a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif presiding over it to examine how the government might respond to the current energy crisis, the cause of which has resulted in the public having to endure load-shedding that lasts for many hours at a time.

According to an update provided on Twitter by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb during the cabinet meeting, the power division reportedly presented an energy conservation plan to address the shortage of electricity in the face of skyrocketing prices of oil and gas on the international market.

According to the sources, the cabinet did authorize the reinstatement of Saturdays as a holiday, however, no decision could be reached regarding the shutting of markets by 7 o’clock in the evening in order to conserve power.

A subcommittee of the cabinet will now deliberate over the early closing of markets and hold consultations with various other parties involved.

In addition to this, it was decided to reduce the fuel allotment that ministers and other government employees receive by forty percent.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif had already proposed taking two holidays per week as a solution to the current energy problem.

Khawaja Asif had previously stated, in a statement that was posted on Twitter, that in light of the current circumstances, there should be a vacation on Saturday and Sunday in addition to a half-day on Friday, which would result in a four-and-a-half day work week.

He suggested that the office hours be extended by one hour on days that workers are present.

The federal minister made a recommendation to alter market schedules during a separate meeting that took place the previous week and was presided over by the premier.

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Asif had vehemently opposed the proposal to open markets from midday to midnight, emphasising instead that marketplaces should be open only during the daytime to make the most of the available sunshine.

He had stated that we might save 3,500MW even without Karachi if the markets were to change their timings correctly. He added that difficult decisions need to be taken.

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