Economic recovery is impossible in an energy crisis: Mian Zahid Hussain.

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Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Saturday that complete economic recovery and development is impossible in a serious energy crisis. He said that the economic downturn and recession will continue until the energy crisis is resolved and the price of electricity and gas is reduced. 

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the mismanagement of the energy sector has been affecting the GDP for years, and the policy of continuously increasing the tariff has backfired. Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the policy of continuous hikes in the power tariff had been adopted to reduce the losses of this sector, which has led to a fall in production and exports. Poverty is increasing rapidly and the power sector has not seen any noticeable improvement despite burdening masses, he observed.

The business leader said that despite the huge increase in electricity and gas prices, the performance of these sectors has remained the same, which is unfortunate. Due to wrong policies, electricity demand and recoveries are continuously decreasing, increasing the government’s losses as contracts entered into with IPPs have weakened the economy. 

Mian Zahid Hussain said that, on the one hand, the electricity rates are being increased continuously; on the other hand, over-billing has also peaked. This sector’s problems and solutions are also known to all who matter. The prime minister has rightly said that the prices of electricity and gas should be reduced so that industries can increase exports. 

A price reduction is possible if the power sector is not interfered with and merit is observed in high-level appointments. He said that efforts are being made to make gas prices uniform across the country, which will make gas more expensive but reduce gas companies’ losses. 

Gas-producing provinces have reservations about this. This decision will increase the financial pressure on the people, the business cost of the industrial sector, and inflation will increase while the profit will decrease further. A uniform electricity tariff is equivalent to unfairness to the consumers of better recovery areas. Where the recovery is better, the electricity should be cheaper, and the salaries of the concerned department should be better. 

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the electricity, gas, and oil systems have been deliberately complicated. Hence, most people and the business community continue to pay silently without understanding it.

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