Load shedding of electricity, gas: 'Punjab industry being victimised'
03 January, 2013
LAHORE: All chambers of commerce and industry of Punjab province in an emergent meeting on Wednesday strongly protested at the injudicious distribution of electricity and gas supply and called for an equitable supply.
LAHORE: All chambers of commerce and industry of Punjab province in an emergent meeting on Wednesday strongly protested at the injudicious distribution of electricity and gas supply and called for an equitable supply. Punjab alone should not be made sole victim of power and gas shortage, rather it should be shared amongst all the federating units.
The heads of all chambers at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) chalked out a joint strategy against discrimination in supply of gas and electricity that has crippled industry.
They demanded of the government to immediately appoint a full chairman of the power wing that has been working without head for the last over five years. They urged the Chief Minister Punjab to set aside their differences with the federal government and lead a delegation of businessmen for a meeting with the President of Pakistan or Prime Minister to raise voice against discriminatory attitude towards Punjab in gas and electricity supply in larger national interest.
Presidents of Faisalabad Chamber Zahid Aslam, Rawalpindi Chamber Manzar Khurshid, Gujrat Chamber of Commerce Adnan Iqbal, Sahiwal Chamber of Commerce Muhammad Hussain, Chakwal Chamber of Commerce Sahibzada Abdul Qadous, Vice President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce Ikram Ul Haq, member of Bhawalpur Chamber Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Ms Rukhsana of Central and Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Rao Abdul Basit, senior Vice Chairman of Lahore Township Industrial Association Anees Qadri, Chairman of Ferozepur Road Welfare Organisation Tariq Javaid Fiazi, Muhammad Aslam Kamyana of All Pakistan PVC Pipe Manufacturers Association, LCCI former Presidents Tariq Hameed, Mian Muhammad Ashraf and Mian Anjum Nisar threw light on serious issues being faced by the industrial sector.
LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said Chamber would utilise all available resources for ensuring equitable supply of gas and electricity to the industry in Punjab.
He said it did not make any sense gas was available to the industry in some parts of the country while there was no gas for Punjab.
Zahid Aslam said the discrimination in supply of electricity and gas was not acceptable for the businessmen and called for early construction of big dams.
Manzar Khurshid said there should be separate feeders for industrial and domestic consumers. He suggested the government should divert the subsidy of Public Sector Enterprises towards the circular debt to end it once for all.
Ikram-ul-Haq said due to electricity shortage, the businessmen of Sialkot have lost the export orders of Rs 20 billion so far and if the situation remained the same, the exports would further nose-dived.
Majeeb-ur-Rehman called for early completion of Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project.
President Gujrat Chamber of Commerce Adnan Khan advocated for promotion of solar energy technology in the country to overcome the electricity shortage and control oil import bill.
Former Chairman WAPDA Tariq Hameed gave a detailed presentation to the participants and apprised them of installed capacity and its availability in various seasons.
WAPDA has 10 hydle projects in the pipeline but none would be functional within next four years even if construction work is started right now.
He pointed out 3000-4000 megawatts shortfall was because of the circular debt and made it clear Punjab has no contribution to it while some provinces have to pay up to Rs 54 billion on this account while Azad Jammu Kashmir has also stopped payment whose share in circular debt has been increased to Rs 14 billion.
Disagreeing small dams could meet the rising demand he said only quantum jump in electricity production could bring the country out of the energy crisis.
Solution of the energy problem lies only in construction of Kalabagh Dam and some other bigger dams, which would not only produce substantial amount of electricity but also ensure water supply in canals throughout the year.