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03/26/2010, Pakistan - "People laud PM’s announcement to end DST",
Associated Press Of Pakistan


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People laud PM’s announcement to end DST

A large cross section of people on Friday lauded the decision of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani to do away with Day Light-saving Time (DST), terming it a wise decision.The implementation of DST in the country has never been a success despite similar attempts in 2002 and 2009 as the vast majority of people ignored it by continuing with their normal lives, without changing time of their clocks.

Only the government workers, banks, airlines and educational institutions adhered to it, creating confusion among the masses who see it as “something abnormal”.

Prime Minister Gilani told the National Assembly on Friday that the government would honour the view of House and would not move the clock forward from April 1. The government last year decided to move the clock forward by one hour from April 1 till October 31 in a bid to lessen power usage.

Sultan Ahmed Chawla, President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) is also of the view that the DST does not provide any benefit to their businesses.
“On the contrary, it unsettles the normal civil and business life of the people ... millions of school and college going students who use public transport, will suffer ... prayer and Ramazan timings are thrown into total disarray leading to utter confusion,” he said.

According to a study conducted by the Center for the Study of Energy Markets (CSEM) under the University of California Energy Institute, “The DST results in a 1-percent overall increase in residential electricity demand.” The paper published in November 2008 made more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years and questioned the rationale behind the DST. “Why doesn’t the government change the timings of government offices and schools?” questioned Mohammad Azam, an employee of a private bank as he pointed at the common man who continues to fumble with his watch trying to figure out whether it is the “naya-time or purana-time” (new time, old time).

The decades old concept of DST gradually picked up popularity particularly in countries that witness huge difference in the daylight time during summers and winters. However the idea did not gain much credence in countries closer to the equator, said Ms Tanya Mirza, a research student at a private university.

Apart from the heavy cost of changing time across the country in the banking, airlines, stock exchanges, communications and IT industry, the shifting of time also has a huge psychological impact.

Though the Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf believes that the energy saved through DST last year was 250 MW, however many times more electricity can be saved if the government forces the markets and shopping malls to close by 7 pm, according to a senior official of Pepco.

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