Govt’s decision to close markets by 8 pm to save billions:

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LAHORE (INP): President Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW), Dr. Murtaza Mughal commending the decision of the federal government to close markets by 8 pm has said that the move will save billions of dollars and improve the habits of consumers.

In a statement issued on Thursday, he said that the implementation of the directive was linked with cooperation from the provinces; therefore, the provincial government should also react responsibly.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that even in rich countries, markets open at 9 am or earlier and close at 5 to 6 pm, while many developed countries also observe the closure of shops on Sundays and, in most cases, on Saturday as well.

However, there were no fixed timings for markets opening and closing in Pakistan, which is draining the country’s resources at a time when it was on the brink of default, he added.

The President PEW said, “Our country cannot afford to keep shops open for 14 to 15 hours for the additional profits of shopkeepers who would never pay their employees according to the minimum wage announced by the government.”

He said that the shopping habits of consumers must be changed through strict administrative measures, as in many cities the actual sales start after sunset and continue till midnight.

Every citizen can get what they want from shops even if market timings are shortened, as is being practiced all over the world, but bringing shopkeepers into discipline requires political will.

Shopkeepers have always resisted efforts to bring them into discipline, document their business, or pay tax, but now the time has come to bring all the shopkeepers into the tax net as the country’s survival is at stake.

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