Federal Cabinet restores Saturday holiday, cuts petrol usage by 40%

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has restored the weekly holiday of Saturday to save energy and to improve loadshedding management.

The federal cabinet made the decision at a meeting held in Islamabad on Tuesday under the chair of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The federal cabinet also approved a 40 percent cut in the fuel usage of the government officials and the members of the cabinet as part of petrol austerity measures.

Briefing the media about the Federal Cabinet’s decisions, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb announced a plan for reducing the duration of electricity loadshedding to only two hours by June 30.

The information minister said that the duration of power loadshedding from June 6 to 15 would be three-and-a-half hours, adding that it would be three hours after June 16.

She further claimed that the duration of loadshedding would be two-and-a-half hours from June 25 to 29, adding: “By June 30, the loadshedding of electricity will be reduced to two hours.”

Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the Saturday weekly holiday had been resumed due to the unusual circumstances, adding that a suggestion had been made to work from home on Fridays.

“The prime minister has formed a committee regarding work from home on Fridays,” Marriyum said, adding that $386 million would be saved by resuming Saturday weekly holiday.

She said that a suggestion had also been made to close markets by 7pm, adding that traders would be taken into confidence with regard to early closure of markets.

She also informed the media about the ban on medical treatment of ministers and government officials abroad, adding that there would be a complete ban on foreign visits of the officials.

She said that lunch, high tea and dinner at government offices were also banned, informing the media that the purchase of furniture and vehicles for the government offices were also banned.

“A ban has also been imposed on the purchase of equipment for the decoration of the government offices,” she declared.

The information minister also told the media about 40 per cent cut on fuel for ministers and the government officials, stating that the officers and ministers would not be allowed to get treatment abroad.

On the occasion, Adviser to Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the tough situation in the country needed more difficult decisions.

Federal Minister for Communications Asad Mahmood said that a specific class was benefitting from subsidies.