- Provinces urged to implement an energy conservation program under which commercial centers would close by 8 pm
Provincial governments were urged Tuesday to implement an energy conservation program under which shops and commercial centers would close by 8pm, according to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The statement was issued after a National Economic Council (NEC) meeting approved the energy conservation package to “save” foreign exchange.
During the meeting, provincial representatives were briefed on the National Energy Conservation Plan, which had previously been approved by the federal cabinet.
Participants at the NEC meeting were informed that implementing the plan would result in over 10-15pc or Rs1bn reduction in fuel import bills in a short period of time, according to the PMO statement.
“The provincial governments were asked to play their role in the implementation of different aspects of the National Energy Conservation Plan and contribute to fulfilling this national duty,” the statement read.
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal separately addressed the issue. He warned that Pakistan's economy will remain vulnerable if fossil fuels are continued to be used.
"Energy has become a significant challenge for Pakistan due to price volatility in the global markets,” he said.
He said the government was hoping to implement the energy conservation package that was not adopted by provinces last year.
“We hope that provincial governments will implement the energy conservation package,” Iqbal said.
“And, we will play our role in energy conservation in order to save the precious foreign exchange.”
Iqbal also pointed out the dismal condition of the economy, saying the government would not be able to pay off debt fully through federal revenue.
“This is a defining moment of where we have reached,” he said. “(The country) will need to borrow for the rest of budget that includes salaries for the government, defence budget, development budget, pension and subsidies.”