LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday expressed surprise and dismay on government’s helplessness to give subsidy to the electricity consumers and feared that riots may further intensify which is not a good omen for the country at all.

In a statement, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Anwar said that the caretaker government would have to react promptly to the rising crisis as the government cannot remain silent in this scenario.

The LCCI President suggested some measures which can help the government to tackle the situation which is heading towards civil disobedience.

He emphasized that water reservoirs and dams to be built without upfront tariff and on our own resources to cut the cost of electricity generation.

He suggested that the subsidy in electricity bills may be routed through BISP programme for deserving Public. He said that free units to all sectors should be stopped immediately.

Kashif Anwar said that Discos could be handed over to Provinces and be privatized immediately. He said that provinces could establish their own energy policies on tariff, distribution and production.

He said that IPP’s can reduce wheeling charges, General Sales Tax and income tax in tariff may be rationalized to facilitate the masses immediately.

The LCCI President said that the circular debt should be cleared with the help of NFC award and inter province power purchase policy may also be established. He said that Thar coal shall be fully utilized for power generation and CO2 emissions controlling mechanism could also be enhanced. He said that the tariff may be brought in either local currency or hedged against Dollar for future projects with IPPs. These measures could be helpful for the government to overcome ongoing crisis in power sector.

Kashif Anwar said that the government would have to bring down the cost of doing business for much-needed trust building of the business community. The government should also encourage alternative energy sources to reduce the dependence on conventional sources.

He said that the electricity theft should be stopped with iron hands and transmission cost should also be reduced besides controlling the line losses. He said that the government could fill the gap between demand and supply of the electricity to rationalize fixed charges by promoting more industry.

The LCCI President suggested that Wapda, Nepra, NTDC and CPPA may be made one body and the number of employees should be curtailed. He said that no one should be allowed free electricity and everyone should pay bill.

He said that the government should promote alternative energy sources to reduce burden from the conventional power generation sources.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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