Authorities urged to share power load management plan with private sector

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The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday urged the authorities concerned to share its load management plan with private sector as worsening power crisis is playing havoc with trade and industry. The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar in a statement said that unannounced and unscheduled power outages left the industrialists with no other option but to stop productions.

"How can one plan production schedule when one is blank about the availability of raw materials. Since electricity is a major raw material, therefore, its unavailability or availability in bits and pieces is of no use to the industry." He said that almost all industrial processes need continuous power supply and a little break spoils entire process. "Industrial closures cause unemployment that leads to lawlessness; therefore, the government should understand the ground realities and reset its priorities regarding provision of electricity to the industry, he added.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan has already lost a number of international markets and the new longer hour power cuts would further aggravate the situation. He said that cheaper and uninterrupted power supply is only way to achieve economic targets set for the year 2013 but neither the government is sharing its future plans to this effect nor paying any heed to the difficulties being faced by the trade and industry.

He said that it is astonishing that on the one hand the government circles are talking of economic stability while on the other hand they are not sharing any kind of roadmap to achieve this goal. He also feared a surge in street crimes, saying that law-and-order situation is bound to aggravate in the coming days as repeated power outages in the industrial estates are jacking up the graph of unemployment particularly hitting the daily wagers hard.

He said that the most of industrial units have already reduced their working to single six-hour shift from the previous three shifts system. This has led to increased level of raw-material wastage leaving production process non-profitable. Now the leading industrial units are experiencing losses despite being managed professionally. The crisis in industrial sector is not only causing flight of capital and relocation of industrial units to the countries like Bangladesh and Malaysia but also reduced government revenues drastically.

He said that a similar situation has erupted about two years ago but that was resolved with the help of the business community who lent a lot of input in developing a viable load management plan. The LCCI President urged the President and Prime Minister to take notice of this grave situation and promptly act to save industrial and social fabric of the country.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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