Energy conservation


Inevitably, Punjab has decided to follow Sindh’s energy conservation plan and close markets at 9 pm, along with cut-off times for large gatherings, marriage functions as well as restaurants. Yet what is being done in pieces ought to be done as a whole and all provinces should have the same policy. It’s the entire country that’s going through a crisis, after all, and saving energy in some parts and wasting it in others is hardly the way to enforce austerity across the nation.
The people are already traumatised by successive fuel price hikes, pushing up overall inflation to biting double figures, so this was also the best time to make them understand the necessity of such harsh measures and why effective compliance would make a big difference to the exchequer at the end of the day.
Let’s not forget that pricing problems are far from over. Oil may have calmed in the international market for now, but there’s still only one why it is likely to go for the foreseeable future. The upward pressure on Brent crude is still pretty much the same, so there’s a very good chance of consistently bad news for the people on that count for some time to come. Therefore, whether we like it or now, energy rationing is going to be a consistent part of the game plan for much of the new fiscal.
Political parties must also realise that in such an environment you score more points by appearing to help the economy than divide the people over it and cause even more long-term harm to the system. That is why the sooner everybody agrees to the so-called charter of economy, where everybody will be appreciated for bringing smart ideas to the table, the better for everybody in the whole country. Till such a time, though, it’s best if the federal government takes the lead in devising a comprehensive energy-saving policy for all provinces so everybody can move together on the issue.