LCCI urges govt to complete energy projects

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to complete energy projects including water & hydropower, on war footing as energy shortage was not only hampering the industrial production but was also a serious threat for economic growth.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, the LCCI Acting President Mian Tariq Misbah said that energy was engine of the growth and its sufficient availability was must to achieve the required GDP growth rate and other economic targets set for the Financial Year 2014-15.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that business community hails the government’s initiatives for power sector announced in the Federal Budget 2014-15 for power sector but desired results could be achieved only if all energy projects completed in shortest possible time.
He said that early completion of hydropower projects would not only ensure cheap and sufficient electricity but would also diminish water shortage that was also a biggest challenge for agro-based economy.
He said that horrid power cuts were impeding the export-oriented industrial production and if situation remains, dream of enhancing the exports would not come true. 
He said that energy shortage would also spoil the foreign investment.
The LCCI Acting President said that the consumers of the efficient distribution companies with lowest line losses and the highest recovery ratio should be treated fairly. .
He said in the developed countries private sector is facilitated to the maximum but in Pakistan circumstances were quite the other way round.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that LCCI has repeatedly warned the government of massive lay-offs and industrial closures if it fails to immediately stop power outages.
The LCCI Acting President said that the government should understand that economic well-being was a must for democracy. Unemployment, price-hike, industrial closure always gives birth to lawlessness and anarchy. Therefore, the government should understand the ground realities and reset its priorities regarding provision of electricity to the industry.
He said that the industry needs continuous supply of electricity to keep the units operational and to complete the export orders well within the given timeframe but only because of the shortage of electricity the exports are not up to the mark.
Mian Tariq Misbah also urged the government to avoid undue increases in gas and electricity tariff in any shape, as it would adversely affect competitiveness of Pakistan merchandise in the international market.
He said that how the industry would remain competitive at such a high price of gas and electricity which was one of the basic industrial raw materials.
The LCCI Acting President said that big hydel projects would not only bring down the electricity prices but would also reduce dependence on conventional source of power generation. 

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