LAHORE: The Punjab government has extended the hours of Utility Stores across the province in order to provide facility of purchasing commodities to citizens after iftar timing. According to a notification issued by the government, utility stores are now allowed to remain open from 9am to 8pm. The utility store administration has been directed to ensure implementation of SOPs regarding Covid-19 including social distancing, masks, sanitizer and others. Last week, Utility Stores Corporation announced additional perks and salaries for the employees after the latter went on strike, shutting down the country-wide stores. The decision was made in the corporation’s yesterday’s meeting of the board of directors, where it was agreed to announce a special package for the employees. Under the decisions, the salary of the daily-wage employees was raised to Rs 17,500 from 15,000. The utility stores’ employees will also be given an additional one-month salary under the Ramadan relief package while a martyrs’ package was also approved for the deceased employees. It is pertinent to mention here that Utility Stores’ employees across the country announced a strike on Friday till government fulfills their demands.