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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, Mian Zahid Hussain, said that the production capacity of electricity in the country is 40,000 megawatts while consumption is only 10,000 to 12,000 megawatts in winter. People and businesses are forced to pay even though some industries are shut down in the winter and do not use electricity.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that instead of shutting down the electricity-generating plants during the four or five months of winter, they should be operated, and this electricity should be sold to cover operating costs only.

He said that cheap electricity should be provided to the public, commercial establishments, and agricultural and industrial sectors to increase economic activity.

Providing cheap power to industries will increase production, employment, export earnings, improve foreign exchange reserves, and thereby provide additional resources to the government for capacity payments.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that supporting the industrial sector will increase production and reduce the price of various commodities, which will benefit the people.

The government should finalize this matter as soon as possible and get permission from the IMF so that the same can be put into practice. The business leader said that electricity and gas have been made very expensive, due to which production costs and exports are affected.

Implementation of this proposal will result in people benefiting from cheaper electricity in winter as natural gas is not available everywhere and LPG is very expensive.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that according to an estimate, by making electricity cheaper, its use will increase by 25% across the country and up to 35% in Karachi, and the demand for natural gas will decrease accordingly.

He noted that efforts have been made to privatize electricity distribution companies for the past several decades, but there has been no success because, firstly, their size and losses are very high, and secondly, the employees are against privatization.

There is a monopoly of these companies in the country, due to which there is a lot of incompetence and corruption in them.

The only solution to these problems is to involve the private sector in this sector by providing specific areas for electricity supply. In this way, the private sector will enter the electricity market, and an era of competition will begin which will reduce inefficiency and corruption and provide better service and affordable electricity to consumers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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