Smog Crisis Hits Punjab: Lahore and Surrounding Districts to See Bank Closures on Friday

Banks and microfinance banks (MFBs) in several districts of Punjab, Pakistan, are closing their branches due to a severe smog crisis. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) made this decision in line with a notification issued by the Government of Punjab. The affected areas include Lahore Division (encompassing District Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur), District Gujranwala, District Hafizabad, District Sialkot, and District Narowal, where all bank and MFB branches will remain closed on Friday, November 10.

The situation has escalated to the point where the Punjab caretaker government has declared an environmental and health emergency from November 9 to 12 to address the smog issue. During this period, a range of businesses and institutions, including markets, shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, gymnasiums, schools, and both public and private offices, will also be closed in Lahore, Gujranwala, and Hafizabad divisions.

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The decision to close these banks and businesses is aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of the smog, which poses significant health and environmental risks. The smog crisis is a serious concern for the region, and government measures, including these closures, are an attempt to safeguard the well-being of residents and combat the environmental emergency.

The move emphasizes the gravity of the smog issue in Punjab and the collaborative efforts of various sectors to address and alleviate its impact on the local population.

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