ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has issued a notification for two weekly holidays at all public and private offices, Express 24/7 reported Friday.
The notification will be binding on all government, semi-government and private institutions under the control of the federal government.
After the implementation of the notification, the office timings will be 8 am to 4 pm from Monday to Thursday, while on Friday there will be a one and a half hour lunch and prayer break from 12.30 pm to 2 pm.
According to the notification, selected branches of commercial banks will continue to work on Saturday.
No notification from Sindh, Balochistan
The governments of Sindh and Balochistan have so far not issued any notifications announcing two-weekly holidays.
The two provinces are undecided on whether to observe two off days in a week or not, Express 24/7 reported.
Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have already rejected the federal government’s decision to observe two holidays in a week.
SC summons full court meeting on two off days
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has summoned a full court meeting to take a decision on the matter of two weekly holidays.
Sources have said the meeting will take place on October 17.
The meeting was called after the apex court received the government notification. The court has
The court has rejected the government’s decision and has instead ordered court administrations to avoid using air conditioners until 11:30am to save energy.
Registrar of Lahore High Court has also said that the High and Lower courts will remain open on Saturday.
SBP announces operation closure on Saturday, Sunday
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced to that all its operation and field offices will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
According to SBP spokesperson Syed Wasimuddin, the bank has decided this in connection with the government’s announcement of a two-day holiday plan.
He added that the commercial banks will have a choice of whether to close their operations on Saturday or not regardless of SBP’s directives.
However, commercial banks have been told to adjust their timings as per the implementation of the new plan according to which the commercial bank’s public dealing timings have been reduced which will be from 9 am to 5.30 pm (with lunch/prayer break from 1.30 pm to 2.15 pm) Monday to Thursday and 9 am to 6.00 pm (with lunch/prayer break from 1 pm to 2.30 pm) on Friday.
Earlier on October 12, the federal cabinet had approved two day weekends for those industries which are completely dependent on electricity and gas.
However, industrialists and businessmen had urged the government to take back the cabinet decision to follow a two-day holiday in a week saying it will further slowdown the already sluggish economic growth in the country.
Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the bank timings. The correction has been made.
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