In an effort to eliminate sweaty-foot odor from the workplace, Pakistan has issued a directive to all government employees to go without socks until further notice. Reuters reports that the order stemmed from the Pakistani government’s decision to shut off all office air-conditioning in order to cope with energy spending cuts.
“There shall be no more use of air-conditioners in public offices till such time that substantial improvement in the energy situation takes place,” the government order reads.
Pakistan’s power problem has persisted since 2008, with the country experiencing countless rolling blackouts — some lasting as long as 20 hours a day. Rolling blackouts, also referred to as load shedding, are intentionally engineered power shutdowns where certain areas are cut off from electricity so that widespread blackout can be avoided. The toll that this crisis has taken on the country is evident in the high unemployment figures in the midst of industrial downfall, as well as the increasing number of citizen protests. Besides the removal of air-conditioning amid sweltering temperatures, major health concerns have arisen as many families are unable to pump fresh water into their homes.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Water and Power Dr. Musadiq Malik and Federal Minister for Water and Power Sohail Wajahat Siddiqui recently addressed these issues at a news conference in Lahore, Pakistan. The Daily Times, a Lahore newspaper, reports that the minsters “expressed their inability to overcome the energy crisis and rid the people of 18 to 20 hours of massive load shedding.”
“They have termed financial constraints as a major and incompetence as a minor hurdle in resolving the issue,” the article continues. “Presenting the realistic picture, the ministers announced that they were going to increase the price of electricity and gas for all sectors.”