14-hour load shedding: LCCI threatens to close down businesses

LCCI

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday threatened the government to close down businesses if the government fails to control over 14 hours daily load shedding immediately by making payments to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the chamber was being forced by all the trade and industrial associations to give a call for indefinite strike as the energy shortage have crippled their businesses. He said that situation has turned so pathetic that neither the industrial units are working nor traders are doing any business because of the electricity shortage.

Sheikh said that law and order situation was also getting out of hands due to unemployment because of electricity shortage. The LCCI president said that the government could easily overcome the circular debt issue if the electricity distribution is transferred to provinces. He said that the transfer of electricity distribution to provinces would not only help recover outstanding dues but it would also streamline the electricity supply as more money would be available to the government for power generation. He said that the province that would not be able to recover dues would definitely be getting lesser electricity.

The LCCI president hoped that in the upcoming budget, the government would be announcing this decision as only because of electricity shortage the country lost 3 per cent of its GDP. Sheikh said that the government would have to focus on investing in energy solutions in the forthcoming budget to achieve key economic targets set for the year 2012-13. In order to tackle energy shortages, the LCCI president said, the government would have to allocate maximum funds for construction of dams/water reservoirs, tapping of Thar coal, completion of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and establishment of LNG terminals. The LCCI President said that sufficient funds should be allocated in the forthcoming budget for Dasu power project, Diamer Bhasha dam, Munda dam, Gomal Zam, Satpara power project and Kurram Tungi dam. – Dailytimes