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Asad Umar opposes early closure of markets

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News Stories Posted by ARY News Digital Team

Former finance minister Asad Umar on Thursday opposed the early closure of markets and said that the decision would further damage the economy, ARY News reported.

While talking to the ARY News programme ‘Khabar’, Asad Umar said that the country will have to pay Rs1,300 billion whether it consumes electricity or not.

“IMF [International Monetary Fund] wants Pakistan to refrain from artificially controlling the markets and keep the original value of Pakistani rupee.”

He said that smuggling cannot be stopped by the monetary policy but in an administrative way.

“Every task cannot be done forcefully without taking concrete economic steps. In the past 16 months, the global market raised suspicions of Pakistan’s default after witnessing its economic situation.”

Umar said that smuggling of currencies would affect the country’s reserves. He urged the government to formulate long-term policies to control the currency.

Earlier in the day, the caretaker government ordered measures to conserve energy, including closing all malls and markets at sunset to mitigate the effects of energy crisis.

A similar announcement was also made by the previous Shehbaz government regarding the closure of markets by 8pm across the country under the ‘energy conservation plan’.

On June 6, the former federal minister made the announcement while talking to journalists after a meeting of National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by then prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“The NEC has approved an energy conservation plan under which shops and commercial centres would be closed by 8pm,” he had announced, noting that energy has become a huge challenge for Pakistan due to global prices.

However, no implementation was made on the measures announced by the previous govt.

Sources privy to the development told ARY News that the implementation of the current energy conservation plan will start from October 1 to February 15.

According to the sources, the administration of the four provinces will implement the decision, while a draft is also being prepared for permanent legislation.

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