LAHORE – The business community has called for upgradation of power transmission and distribution system to get rid of the issues of suspension of electricity supply. LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said that repeated incidents of power failure have revealed weakness of power transmission and distribution system. They said that worst power failures in recent days plunged country into darkness and situation could be further aggravated if steps on war footing are not taken. The LCCI office-bearers said that it is a very good sign that government is well aware of the rising demand of electricity and working on a number of power projects days and nights but government should also be aware of the fact that existing power distribution system cannot bear the load of additional power.They urged the government not to tolerate any laxity towards the up-gradation of power transmission and distribution system as any negligence could cause unbearable loss to the trade, industry and economy. They also urged the government to ensure early completion of ongoing power projects as it is not a must to keep the industrial wheel moving but economic growth is also linked with sufficient and cheap energy.
The LCCI office-bearers that business community does not have any doubts about the seriousness of present regime in solving the energy crisis as it has already started a number of power projects but there is a dire need of their completion in the shortest possible time as an acute shortage of electricity is hitting the economic activities hard.The LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the timely completion of hydropower projects was vital for mitigating water and power shortfall. They said that due to longer hour power cuts the investment scenario is being spoiled in the country and so much so existing industrial units have curtailed their productions. He said that government should exploit all available options to stop unscheduled power cuts which are hitting the economic activities hard. He said that prolonged power outages in the industrial areas are jacking up the graph of unemployment particularly hitting the daily wagers hard.
The LCCI president said that the most of industrial units had already reduced their working hours. This had led to increased level of raw-material wastage and making production process non-profitable. Now the leading industrial units were experiencing losses despite being managed professionally.
Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that the shortage of electricity had already caused flight of capital and relocation of industrial units to the countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia besides reducing government revenues drastically. He said that the government should share its energy plan with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The LCCI President said that the government should understand that economic well being is a must. He said that Unemployment and industrial closures always give birth to lawlessness and anarchy. Therefore, the government should understand the ground realities and reset its priorities as far as power generation is concerned. He said that the consumers of the efficient distribution companies with lowest line losses and the highest recovery ratio are being treated unfairly.