The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved Saturday as weekly day off and 40 percent cut in the petrol quota of ministers and government employees.

The cabinet, however, could not decide on closure of markets at 7 pm to save electricity.

A meeting of the cabinet was held with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair in which ways to overcome the worst load shedding in the country were discussed.

A day earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had proposed four and a half working days in a week to help conserve fuel and energy amid soaring fuel prices and power shortage.

The defence minister took his Twitter handle to share his suggestions for addressing increased power shortage and heavy use of fuel. He wrote, “In the current situation, all over the country, there should be a complete holiday on Saturday and Sunday and a half working day on Friday in every week.”

He proposed that there should be four and a half working days in a week, adding that there should be an increase in office timings by an hour in working days. He said it could reduce traffic on roads and the high value petrol and electricity could be saved that also promoted austerity.

Khawaja Asif strongly opposed the proposal to open markets from 1pm to 1am, and suggested to open markets only in the day time to utilise sunlight properly, as it is available for 365 days.

He said Allah has blessed Pakistan with the sunlight but we do businesses in night. He said if the markets would adjust their timings accordingly then we could save 3,500MW even without Karachi, adding that tough decisions have to be taken in such a situation.

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