Reduced Shop Timings Will Not Save62 Billions through Energy Conservation Irfan Iqbal Sheikh
Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has explained unequivocally that the newly announced shop timings will not save billions of rupees in energy consumption expenditures as envisaged by the federal government in its National Energy Conservation Plan – as the end result of closing the markets and shops at 08:30 PM. The decision is an exercise in futility to say the least; for its being consultation-less vis-à-vis commercial stakeholders, he added.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that power conservation is an absolute necessity for the country; however, the approach and methodology to achieve that should be in-consultation with the business, industry and trade community to make the measures practical, inoffensive, objective and should be able to deliver real savings.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh stated that, as a matter of fact, reduction in shop timings will result in the contraction of business, commercial and economic activities much more than it can save to match the energy costs estimate by the government, i.e. PKR. 62 billion.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh emphasized that there would not be any tangible difference; in fact, the government will lose much more in tax revenues due to reduced sales and incomes of the traders. Additionally, there will be tangible socioeconomic costs attached to the measure in terms of unemployment and loss of opportunities to earn livelihoods, he added.
FPCCI Chief also highlighted that the departmental stores and modern retailers fulfill their staffing needs through bifurcating their employees in two working shifts; and, the reduced shop timings will result in them being forced to slash that to one shift to remain operationally profitable. It will practically result in at least 30 percent employment loss in departmental stores staff, he added.
Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh also apprised that in his consultation with the All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA)’ leadership, they have categorically informed him that restricting the restaurants to close for dine-in by 08:30 PM will not result in any savings in power consumption.
On the contrary, it is the other way round indeed; because, as per experiential researches, families who come for dine-in consume less power jointly, if accounted for alongside other people in a restaurant’s dine-in. The empirical logic behind the phenomenon is that had all families in the dine-in were at home at a given point in time, they would have consumed more electricity collectively in their homes as compared to one dine-in hall or facility communally.
Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.