Last Update 23:58

Controversial early closing hours for Egypt's shops postponed: Minister

Government delays initiative to shut shops and restaurants early as it sets regulations for implementing decision, affirms Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen Wednesday

Ahram Online, Thursday 1 Nov 2012
Views: 1462
Controversial early closing hours for Egypt
Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen (Photo: Ahram Arabic News Website)

Egypt's government will delay the enforcement of a ministerial decision to shut shops and restaurants early across the country, Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen told private Egyptian TV channel Al-Hayat, late Wednesday.

The new government initiative, which was set to start Saturday, has been postponed "until further notice" as the internal regulations for implementing the decision have yet to be formulated, Abdeen affirmed. 

Enforced early closing times was first suggested in August by Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal and approved mid-October, as a means of saving energy.

All retailers were ordered to shut their shops by 10pm and restaurants by 12pm. However, pharmacies and places counted as catering for tourists would be exempt.  

Trade and Industry Minister Hatem Saleh told Ahram's Arabic-language news website earlier this month that the new closing times would save the country LE6 billion a year in electricity.

This decision has, however, come under scrutiny as many small shop owners make their living through opening at night after finishing their day jobs.

An argument ensued Wednesday evening between Abdeen and ONTV's television anchor Reem Maged during a televised call-in to her programme, after Maged reported that shop owners had said the decision would cause unemployment and detrimentally affect people's livelihoods.

Abdeen rejected Maged's comments, adding that she had no pretext for her statements and abruptly ended the conversation. 

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Sharif Shehata
03-11-2012 02:58am
We pay for electic what is happen to our profit?
Egyptians paid for electricity more than 1.5 billion a year without development and improvement. Mr Ahmed Zaki, Egypt need to build many power stations and develop the solar power from our sun. The sun one of our gifts from God. However, We need to shut our air conditioning better than shut shops. God bless Egypt.
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lora stultz
02-11-2012 01:52pm
solar energy
The massage to this ......minister is,'USE SOLAR ENERGY IDIOT!'
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