ISLAMABAD – The business community has asked the government to exempt the industrial zones from electricity loadshedding, as the power crisis, all over the country, has worsened and the total shortfall has crossed the level of more than 6,500MW.
Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Siddiqi, in a joint statement, said that all the major industrial cities of the country are facing electricity loadshedding due to which the production activities are badly suffering. He said that rural areas are also facing severe loadshedding at a time when the mercury is on the rise and this situation is making the life of common man more miserable. Nasir Hameed expressed concern over long power outages and stressed the need to rectify technical faults immediately. He also called for urgent measures not only to improve the economic situation but also to overcome the power shortage.
He said that industrial zones across Pakistan are facing various durations of power breakdowns, as many units have closed down their night shift production owing to non-availability of power while others might follow the suit. Closure of the night shift would hit over 30 percent of total production of the manufacturer, he added. Javed Siddiqi asked the authorities to take quick action, taking notice of forced loadshedding in the export industry because of non-availability of fuel, technical faults, failure in purchasing of fuel and maintenance of the power plants, leading to crunch of thousands of megawatts across the country. He remarked that industry would not be able to meet timely shipments due to closure of one shift while local supplies of goods would also face problems. As the residents continue to face massive power failures, the distribution companies have now extended the scope of loadshedding towards the industrial sector by conducting eight to 12 hours power cuts. He said that loadshedding is being carried out on the pretext of furnace oil shortage, recalling that a week ago, DISCOs authorities had assured industries not to carry out loadshedding, but then suddenly started it on an hour’s notice. He said that the 12-hour loadshedding would affect 30% of production and hit exports, he said, urging Prime Minister Shehbaz Shaif to save trade and industry from anti-industry policy, as they are hit by loadshedding the most.
He urged the government to end loadshedding from the industrial area as power interruption is causing drastic effects on production and exports. He said that the country has an installed capacity of electricity of over 39,000 MW, but currently the system is producing 15,000 MW of electricity, which shows the inefficient performance of the power sector. He said that Pakistan’s energy sector has been facing great losses and distortions in the distribution sector for years, costing the national exchequer billions of rupees annually. He also stressed for bringing drastic improvement in the performance of power companies as uninterrupted supply of electricity to businesses and industries is the key requirement to ensure better growth of economy. He feared power outages would lead to an alarming rise in unemployment in the industries and urged the federal government to immediately resolve the issue. The prime minister should take immediate steps and if it’s not resolved, the situation may become more serious, he added.
He called upon the government to take urgent measures to curb the rising power load shedding as it will badly hit the business and industrial activities.