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Tuesday June 06, 2023

Jang Economic Session: ‘Political stability must to overcome energy, other crises’

By Our Correspondent
March 05, 2023

LAHORE: Early and harsher summer this year will increase power consumption which will definitely increase power loadshedding and affect business, routine life and increase unemployment and poverty. Without political stability, situation will not come under control in energy and other sectors.

These views were expressed by the discussants at Jang Economic Session on ‘New Summer Season – Concerns of Power Outages’. The panelists were Abdul Rasheed Sindhu, Sohail Lashari, Khalid Paracha, Aslam Ch, and Adnan Khalid Butt while moderated by Sikindar Lodhi. Abdul Rasheed Sindhu said, “The weather was not in human control but we can ensure the facilities. If the electricity theft is stopped at the government level, there is a possibility of reducing loadshedding. It is need of the hour to stop power theft.”

Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan was facing energy crisis since its inception. Power plants are closing due to the increase in the cost of fuel while the intensity of the heat will increase in the coming days. The government should introduce solar systems to every home as soon as possible. Switch street lights to solar, lower power consuming home appliances should be installed. Pakistan has converted into housing societies and green areas become plots now. Power demand is increasing with creation of new hosing societies. There is a need to incentivize the public for population control and shifting to solar power installation. Pakistan needs young politicians, he said.

Khalid Paracha said summer will normal, rains will also happen, ACs will also be used and loadshedding also occur. But due to this loadshedding, poverty and unemployment will increase. People are shifting to perishable selling business from SME due to increase in power tariff while there is no solution for it. Further, loadshedding will increase debt burden, poverty, inflation and unemployment. The government should immediately go towards solar energy, he said.

Aslam Ch said that the rains will reduce in next three months while temperature will be 27 degrees in March. This year the intensity of heat will be more than last year and therefore the consumption of electricity will also be high. This may be resulted in increase the power outages. If we generate electricity using domestic sources, we can meet the needs of power demands but due to imported fuel required power was not generated. There is a need to work on Solar and Wind Energy generation. Adnan Khalid Butt said that annual power theft in Pakistan is Rs 600-700 billion and this could be saved by discouraging power theft besides loadshedding can be controlled. Power supply is essential for both the public and economy and businesses. The cost of doing business is also increasing due to rising diesel prices which is having a negative impact on business. This will negatively affect the exports. There is a need to construct small dams to reduce the power outages and at the same time every house and factory should be brought on solar system. Installation of the solar system should be encouraged. Kala Bagh Dam should be built and completed, he said.