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LAHORE: During a session on “Powering Pakistan’s Future: Strategies to Address the Energy Crisis” jointly organized by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Business Recorder, experts highlighted the need for energy conservation and industrialization to address the country’s energy crisis. Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb was the chief guest.

Professor Dr. Fiaz Ahmed Chaudhry of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) emphasized that Pakistan spends $70 billion on debt servicing for additional capacity charges. He stressed the importance of estimating energy demands accurately; citing that the country’s energy demand varies greatly between winter and summer, with a significant gap of 16,000 to 18,000 MW in demand and supply during winter.

Dr. Chaudhry suggested implementing energy-efficient measures, stopping leakage, and shutting down inefficient captive plants. He also emphasized the need for industrialization to resolve capacity charges issues.

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Vice President FPCCI Asif Inam criticized the high energy rates, calling them a “tax” on industries. He questioned who benefits from the high rates.

Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association North Zone Kamran Arshad emphasized the need for industrialization to reduce energy costs, citing Bangladesh and India as examples. He stressed that competitive energy rates are essential for increasing exports.

Former Chairman NEPRA Tauseef H. Farooqi highlighted the flaws in the energy sector, including dollar-based contracts, unrealistic demand projections, and reliance on imported fuel. He emphasized that the actual price of electricity is Rs29, but a 47% tax is added.

Vice President FPCCI Abdul Mohamin Khan suggested providing electricity to industries at concessional rates, while Chairman Oil Marketing Association Tariq Wazir Ali called for a thorough evaluation of the Turn over Tax policy, seeking a reduction to 0.25% to ensure profitability and viability.

Chairman Oil Marketing Association Tariq Wazir Ali suggested that there should be a thorough evaluation of the Turn over Tax policy, seeking a reduction to 0.25% to ensure their profitability and viability. They have also urged the government to address these concerns promptly to foster a conducive business environment for the entire oil industry in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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