International Monetary Fund in its report on Pakistan while expressing fears of economic slowdown, increase in government expenditure, lagging behind in health and education sectors from neighboring country and increase in unemployment also has indicated that Pakistan’s economy is suffering due to load shedding in the country and by ending subsidy on electricity the problems could be minimized.
Monetary agencies like IMF often use tough language which does not sit well with the political and public circles. Often the suggestions given by such organizations become a source of burden on the common man. The real purpose behind the use of tough language by these organizations is to help the concerned countries to improve their economy.
When any country is spending more money for one unit of production of electricity and receiving less amount from consumers than its simple that loss must be tolerated in electricity sector. This deficit is overcome by the government. Usually the elected governments are cognizance of the public problems and tend to strike a balance between problems of the people and country’s economy.
The government although had rejected the IMF reports and termed it as misleading but we cannot turn away from the reality that load shedding has affected every sector of this country. Due to this a large section of the public is suffering from inflation and unemployment. The gas crisis has further multiplied the problems. Due to the gas crisis the power houses and factories are adversely affected. The rates of transport have increased and the housewives face much problems in lightening the stove. The riots of the public against power and gas outages are creating a law and order situation, traffic is disturbed.
There is an encouraging sign that the present government is making efforts to get gas from Turkmenistan, Iran, Qatar and Russia to meet the energy needs of the country and is also paying attention to projects of getting electricity and gas from Thar Coal reserves to meet the needs of the energy sector.
Judging by the efforts it seems that the present government by the end of their tenure would be able to make a base, making it easier for the coming governments to deal with the power and gas crisis. If we start working on projects utilizing our natural resources to get cheap electricity from alternate resources than there would be no load shedding and neither our economy would have to face irreparable loss.
The looming energy crisis prompted PM Gilani to summon energy conference in which
Many key decisions were made.
At a time when the country is facing the worst form of power crisis the consensus on solving this issue is an encouraging sign. Uniform load shedding in all four provinces will help put an end to complaints of favoritism towards a single province or city. Although the power outages have affected the industries of the entire country, but Punjab had the most complaints as its industries in Faisalabad, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat have been affected.
One important decision taken during the energy conference was to close down markets and business centers by 8 pm. This exercise is practiced almost everywhere in the world. In Europe the markets are closed by early evening and no concept of night shopping exists. Whereas in our country the markets remain open till midnight which raise the usage of electricity by many folds as the shops use many lights to make their shops more attractive. Our country, which is already cash strapped cannot afford this luxury and all efforts at government as well as individual levels needs to be made to conserve electricity.