Lahore, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Saturday expressed grave concern on power circular debt increase and urged government for urgent steps for payments to end unprecedented outages.
LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh feared if immediate steps are not taken, power sector will face another blow due to heavy outstanding dues. Finance and Water & Power Ministry should take urgent steps for making payments to cope with fast deteriorating energy situation.
He said LCCI has been calling for much needed reforms in power sector to control pilferage, line losses, stop corrupt practices. General consumers and industry would continue to suffer prolonged electricity outages. There is need to evolve an altogether new policy to attract private sector investment in generation to balance electricity demand and supply.
He said ultimate solution to energy crisis lies in construction of mega water reservoirs or tapping coal potential. Government should utilize all available resources to win consensus. All stakeholders show greater maturity on Kalabagh Dam and it is high time all undue stands should be brushed aside to save the country from era of darkness.
Irfan Sheikh said everyone knows that existing dams are constantly silting up leaving ever decreasing capacity to store water and dams construction is desperately needed to store adequate water. According to conservative estimate about 30 million acre feet water is being wasted into sea as country has no big water reservoirs to store. More importantly, as a result of melting of glaciers due to global warming, sword of damocles remains hangs in shape of floods.
He said dependence on power generated through thermal sources is costing too much causing to face insurmountable challenges to remain competitive in national and global markets. Generation by thermal sources is estimated to cost almost Rs 16 per unit whereas same can be produced at Rs 2.5 to Rs 3 through hydel resources.