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LAHORE: Both the industrial and agriculture sectors have registered a decrease in consumption of electricity against the residential and commercial sectors, revealed the data obtained from Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).

According to the data, the industrial sector has reported a decreasing trend in electricity consumption over the decades, as it has dropped to 29 percent in 2020 against 58 percent in 1970. Similarly, the agriculture consumption has dropped to 13 percent in 2020 against 25 percent in 1970. It may be noted a vast land in the agriculture sector is yet uncultivated due to the high energy cost, which is not easy to meet despite heavy subsidies by the successive governments and farmers are opting for solar energy to overcome the phenomenon of energy shortage.

A decline in the industrial consumption over the decades has been attributed to the engagement of the country in war with India on the one hand and playing an active role during the Afghan invasion by the two super powers of the world on the other, said the sources. They further said that an increase in terrorist activities back in eighties and nineties, followed by a role adopted by Pakistan as a frontline state in war against terrorism has hit hard the growth of the industrial sector, which has a direct impact on the consumption of electricity by the industrial sector.

According to the sources, the industrial sector has also got a hit when the country had witnessed unprecedented load shedding in 2007. A good number of industrial sectors had no option but to close down their operations once and for all for both non-affordability and non-availability of electricity, they added.

So far as the agriculture sector is concerned, they said, a rising trend of urbanization on the one hand and irrigation problems on the other have played havoc with the growth potential of the sector. As a result, the agriculture sector has failed to hold ground despite abundant subsidies by the governments one after another.

The electricity consumption of the residential sector has hit through the roof over the past seven decades, as it has reached 52 percent in 2020 from a meager consumption of 13 percent in 1970. Urbanization in Pakistan is taking place at the rate of 3 percent per annum, which is considered to be the highest pace in South Asia. Pepco sources said the residential consumption has surpassed not only the industrial and agriculture sectors’ consumption of electricity but also that of the commercial sector, which has become double to 8 percent in 2020 against 4 percent in 1970.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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