Govt urged to implement decisions of Energy Conference 2012

Govt urged to implement decisions of Energy Conference 2012\27\story_27-5-2012_pg5_12

LAHORE: Federal government should implement decisions of Energy Conference 2012 and ensure adequate and equal supply of electricity throughout the country.
Business leadership of the Punjab on Saturday said despite a consensus decision at the Energy Conference on April 9, 2012 and a solemn pledge by the Prime Minister for equal load shedding across Pakistan, the electricity consumers in interior Sindh, KPK and most especially Punjab continue to suffer from unjust and prolonged load shedding.
They said the acute electricity and gas shortage has not only crippled the trade and industry but was also bringing widespread unemployment and poverty.
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Executive Committee meeting said it was very unfortunate loadshedding in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Lahore was 10 to 18 hours while in Hyderabad 4 to 8 hours, Karachi 2 hours, Nawabshah 6 to 8 hours, Peshawar 6 to 10 hours, Quetta 4 to 8 hours, Rawalpindi 8 to 14 hours and Sukkur 6 to 8 hours.
They said the recovery of the bills in Faisalabad is 99.8 percent, Gujranwala 98.8 percent, Lahore 98.1 percent while in Hyderabad it is 59.1 percent, Karachi 85.6 percent, Peshawar 78.4 percent and in Quetta 41 percent.
They said the line losses in Peshawar were 35 percent, in Hyderabad 34 percent, Quetta 18 percent, Lahore 13 percent, Gujranwala 12 percent, Faisalabad 11 percent and in Islamabad 10 percent.
They said the consumers of the efficient distribution companies with lowest line losses and highest bill collection were being treated unfairly by not only being subjected to worst load shedding, but also by paying for the losses of inefficient distribution companies through cross subsidies.
They said Punjab contributes nearly two thirds to the GDP of Pakistan. Punjab pays for 80 percent of electricity bills and gets only 60 percent of electricity units. Yet Punjab is being made the worst victim of injustice.
They said the Prime Minister at the Energy Conference 2012 pledged to reduce and equalise load shedding throughout the country, yet the situation has not improved.
The Prime Minister also instructed the federal authorities to increase the gas supply to power generation companies, which has not happened.
They said awful prolonged load shedding was hitting all sectors of economy including trade, industry and agriculture.
President LCCI Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said the private sector was engine of the growth and in the developed countries it was facilitated to the maximum but in Pakistan circumstances were quite the other way round.
Sheikh said LCCI has repeatedly warned the government of massive lay-offs and industrial closures if it failed to immediately stop power outages but people sitting on the helm of the affairs were playing the role of silent spectators.
He said government would not be able to control the situation triggered by the demonstrations and strikes called by the angry industrial workers against their retrenchments as a result of these power outages.
Unemployment, price-hikes, industrial closures always gives birth to lawlessness and anarchy. Therefore, the government should understand the ground realities and reset its priorities regarding provision of electricity to the industry. staff report

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