Pakistan government reverts to six-day week

Islamabad, Nov 17 (IANS) The Pakistan government has ended the five-day week that was introduced as an energy saving measure.

Dawn Wednesday reported that from Nov 27, the country will revert to a six-day week.

An official statement read, ‘Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has approved the proposal to discontinue the weekly holiday on Saturday’.

The two-day weekend decision was taken by the Council of Common Interests at a meeting April 22 after measures were considered for energy conservation following loadshedding across the country.

The decision was taken to save electricity during the summer months in offices where there is heavy use of air-conditioners.

‘The savings from the point of view of the government offices is two-fold – not only does it cut back on the use of energy, it also helps reduce the size of the bills that pile up against government offices which may not even be paid,’ an official was quoted as saying.

When the policy was introduced, it was decided that it would end July 31. But the long summer forced the government to extend the policy till Oct 31 and then till Nov 27.

An official said up to 1,000 megawatts could be saved depending on the weather conditions and the efficacy of accompanying measures such as closing the markets at 8 p.m. and less use of street lights.

Nasir Jamal, spokesperson of the ministry of water and power, said the power saving was ‘substantial’.

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