South Asia

Published: Sunday 15 June 2008

Pakistan introduces daylight saving time to battle power shortage: In a bid to reduce load shedding, the Pakistani government on May 14 announced that the country will forward its clock by an hour from June 1 for the next three months. The plan will also force commercial centres to close by 9 pm. The other measures that the government announced include shutting down air conditioners in government offices, including secretariats, between 8 am and 11 am; lighting up 50 per cent of the street lights; and installing a million CFL bulbs in the country. The government also plans to employ ship generators to provide 200 mw of electricity to Karachi. The government's decision to close shops on Friday and keep them open on Sunday when offices remain closed, is however, facing opposition from trade unions.

Fuel crisis worsens in Nepal as stocks run low: As the fuel crisis deepens in Nepal, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has requested India to ensure normal supplies of petrol and petroleum products. The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has stopped the supply to the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), that owes Rs (Nepal) 2.50 billion (US $37) to IOC. As the oil price continues to rise in the international market, NOC says, it is incurring losses to the tune of Rs (Nepal) 1.67 billion (US $24.7). Its recent request to the government asking for Rs 2-billion (US $29.6) loan or to revise the price of petrol and petroleum products has also been quashed. Meanwhile, petroleum dealers have threatened to go on an indefinite strike unless the government ensures smooth supply of fuel immediately.

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