The Punjab government imposed a lockdown on all business activity in Lahore on Sundays, with the exception of emergency and necessary services, intended to conserve energy and minimize power outages.
The decision was made in light of the nation’s escalating fuel and electricity costs as well as the widening disparity between supply and demand for electricity.
A notice from Deputy Commissioner Lahore Omer Sher Chatha stated that Sunday would be observed as a closed day for all commercial marketplaces, plazas, shops, including those of wholesale and retail, shopping malls, bakeries, confectioneries, offices, storage rooms, godowns, warehouses, etc. in Lahore.
The notification states that the most recent decision will be communicated to the business and trade community. In consultation with the Punjab Labor and Human Resource Department, the administration has released the notification.
General Secretary of All Pakistan Anjuman Tajiran Abdul Razaq Babbar responded to the move by saying that the business community has no objections to the shutdown on Sundays. However, he claimed that these limitations would promote corruption because police officers accepted payments from merchants and retailers in exchange for allowing them to operate during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Muhammad Asif, another trader, made the observation that many of the neighborhood and street-level small businesses are open on Sundays. Due to most workplaces being closed on Saturday and Sunday, he continued, “we get stronger sales during those days.” The restriction to close all markets, shopping centers, and business centers by 9pm, save for Saturdays, was announced by the Lahore deputy commissioner the day before. The aforementioned prohibition does not apply to medical supply stores and pharmacies, hospitals, laboratories, milk stores, gas stations, highway service zones, and tire repair businesses.
Additionally, the district government organized special teams made up of Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) and representatives from other organizations to shut down all commercial activity in the city at the appointed hour. To ensure the precise implementation of the government decision, local administration and police teams are observed in action. To avoid legal action, the deputy commissioner has pleaded with the populace to assist the government by shutting down their enterprises at the appointed time.