Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Tuesday welcomed the Caretaker Prime Minister Mr. Anwar Haq Kakar, and said that the current price of electricity will never allow industry, trade, and the overall economy to flourish.
The cost of doing business is increasing due to the continuous increase in electricity prices; there is a continuous decline in output; and our manufacturers are not able to compete in the global market, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the high energy prices are closing businesses while the majority of people are unable to pay their bills.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that instead of increasing the price of electricity, reforms should be made in this critical sector.
Electricity should be made cheaper by getting rid of the 800 billion in line losses, theft, inefficiency, and defaults in this sector, he added.
The business leader noted that the solution of 71% capacity payments should be resolved and the production costs of industries should be reduced by providing cheap electricity during the winter.
Solar power should be given priority for cheap generation of electricity; this sector should be encouraged, as presently only 1.4% of electricity is generated by solar. In Australia, 15% of electricity is generated through solar power. Nine to 14 percent of electricity in Italy, Spain, and Germany is derived from solar resources.
For decades, the IMF has been assured by the authorities to improve the power sector, but these promises have never been implemented, and the disastrous process of raising the price of electricity has been considered the solution to all problems, he observed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the governments blame the IMF for the increase in the price of electricity, while the IMF has never demanded an increase in the price of electricity but has always said that electricity, gas, or anything should not be sold cheaper than its cost of production because it creates a deficit that the government cannot bear and loans are taken for it, which is wrong.
The production cost of electricity in Pakistan is currently skyrocketing due to incompetence, corruption, and vested interests, which have ruined the power sector. It is hoped that the caretaker prime minister will implement the required reforms. While one trillion rupees per year has to be spent to artificially keep failed government institutions alive, a process that should be stopped.