ICCI seeks urgent steps to end power outages


Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has expressed concerns over the rising power crisis in the country as the power shortage has reportedly shot up to 6,000 to 7,000 MW and called upon the government to take urgent measures to overcome the worsening energy shortage.
ICCI President Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that rising power crisis would badly affect the economic activities, besides making life of the common man more miserable in this sweltering heat. He said this while addressing the ICCI Executive Committee meeting, said a statement issued on Friday.
Munir said that the menace of load-shedding has swept across the country leaving the businesses and the homes in the dark at a time when the temperatures were on the rise. He said that the urban areas were reportedly experiencing 6 to 10 hours load-shedding and rural areas 8 to 16 hours load-shedding, which showed that the energy crisis has worsened in the country.
He said that the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has assured to end the load-shedding soon, which was encouraging, but the situation demanded war footing measures to tackle this serious crisis.
The ICCI president said that energy was the key requirement for trade and industrial activities while the uninterrupted and affordable power supply was essential for accelerated economic growth of the country. He said that the electricity was an important economic indicator as its availability or shortage encouraged or discouraged the local and foreign investors.
He said that the main reason for the gap between demand and supply was the country’s dependence on fossil fuel for power generation. He stressed that the government should focus on increasing the hydropower and renewable energy share in the energy mix of the country, which was more cost effective and would bring down the cost of doing business significantly.
ICCI Senior Vice President Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh and ICCI Vice President Muhammad Faheem said that the government should take all possible measures to reduce its dependence on costly imported oil for energy generation and should focus on exploiting the cheap energy resources for power generation that would drastically reduce the oil import bill and reduce production cost.
They also called for energy efficiency measures that would save huge capital, improve the economy and the environment. They further said that the energy-intensive industries should be encouraged to adopt energy efficiency measures that would give huge financial benefits.