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January 16, 2015

Poor management blamed for furnace oil shortage


January 16, 2015

LAHORE: Industrial leaders on Thursday criticised the government for its poor management, which results in the shortage of furnace oil at the time when international oil prices have sharply decreased.
The government has failed to import furnace oil, the rates of which have dropped to Rs48,000/ton from Rs85,000/ton earlier, giving an opportunity for thermal power production at the lowest cost, they said.
“The price drop was an opportunity to maximise power production and supply full power to manufacturing sector,” power sector expert Mohsin Syed said. “Instead, the industrial load shedding has reached its peak in January.”
S M Tanveer, chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association said the poor planning by the ministry of water and power has devastated the textile industry, which was promised 24-hour power supply by the Prime Minister.
Since the furnace oil is not available textile mills, which have thermal power generators, remain nonoperational, impeding not only exports but also domestic market operation. Consumers are forced to shift to imported substitutes.
“This is the time when all thermal power capacity can be utilised at a reasonable cost,” Tanveer said. “Hydropower production has already dwindled to its lowest mark due to the closure of canals and the available power is not sufficient to cater to the needs of even the domestic consumers.”
Industrial production in all regional economies is picking up due to availability of cheap oil, said Farooq Iftikhar, chairman of Pakistan LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) Producers Association.
However, “In Pakistan, motorists are facing petrol shortages, while the government has stopped some LPG filling stations from supplying it to commercial vehicles,” he said.
The manufacturing sector will not be able to benefit from the low global commodity rates and falling inflation in the country due to energy crisis.
Iftikhar said the regional economies that are ahead of

Pakistan will further consolidate their production and growth.
He appealed the Prime Minister to fix the responsibility of the policy failure. Economic scenario in Pakistan will remain volatile unless the responsible people are made accountable and punished for their irresponsible acts.
“We will continue to lose opportunities if we continue to ignore the irresponsible attitudes of our officials,” he warned.

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