High cost of energy hampering production and exports

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Atif Ikram Sheikh, the presidential candidate for FPCCI, expressed on Tuesday that expensive energy is constraining production and exports while burdening the lower-income population. He said that electricity and gas tariffs should be reduced to revive economic activities and reduce inflation.

Speaking to the business community, Atif Ikram Sheikh, who has also served as VP of FPCCI, Chairman of PVMA and President of ICCI, said that the dysfunctional energy sector has contributed to the devastation of the economy. A lot of electricity is wasted; therefore, the circular debt is increasing day by day. The IMF has asked Pakistan to increase the price of electricity, he said.

The business leader said that the power sector has become a major economic threat, and no one has been able to solve it sustainably.

The power sector is harming the country’s economy and the World Bank claims that the finishing load shedding can benefit the people by four and a half billion dollars and businesses by about eight and a half billion dollars, he informed.

Economic recovery is tied to the acquisition of cheap and sustainable energy for which recovery should be 100%, load shedding should be eliminated and transmission and distribution losses must be brought to global standards, he demanded.

He said that reliance on imported oil and gas for power generation is a major obstacle to the development of the economy.

He said that power generation through nuclear and renewable sources is dismal, while production in both sectors needs to be increased to save valuable foreign exchange.

The cost of installing wind and solar power plants is much lower than fuel-fired power plants. Promoting private solar power can completely solve transmission losses and electricity theft.

The potential of wind power in Pakistan is at least 50,000 megawatts. Still, only 1335 megawatts of electricity are generated from it, while only 600 megawatts are generated through solar energy, which is only 1.4% of the potential, he said.

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