LAHORE  - The government should take immediate measures to restore supply of petroleum products as the shortage was not only causing undue damage to the trade and economic activities but also hitting the general public hard.
The IEP Lahore Centre Chairman Engineer Syed Khalid Sajjad said that fuel shortage had brought the vehicular traffic to a grinding halt in the province of Punjab. He said Punjab was hub of trade and economic activities and biggest contributor in GDP but Punjab was being hit worse by fuel shortage that would ultimately hit the national economy.
He said that oil shortage had badly affected the daily wagers besides hitting the agriculture sector hard as high speed diesel was being used in the agriculture machinery and tubwells.
He demanded of the government to release funds for PSO to ease the circular debt and make it able to purchase fuel. He demanded of the government to take corrective measures to curtail circular debt of PSO that had not only created fuel shortage crisis in the country but was also biggest reason of massive loadshedding.
He said the factors like simmering political tensions, unsatisfactory law and order situation and chronic energy crisis have taken a heavy toll on the our economy by disrupting the production schedules, putting negative impact on developmental activities and weakening the confidence of investors due to which the pace of economic growth suffered badly.
He stressed the government to give top priority to overcome energy shortfall by utilizing all indigenous energy sources including setting up large dams.
He said Pakistan as well as its people are paying heavy price due to non-construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD). People of Pakistan are paying Rs15 more per unit for generating electricity from thermal energy and if Pakistan will build KBD we can get electricity at Rs1.54 unit. We are facing a short fall of Rs180 billion in the absence of cheap hydro-power produced from KBD.
He said that the people of Sindh are paying Rs40 billion every year in their electricity bills, people of KPK a sum of Rs29 billion and people of Balochistan Rs7 billion every year. He said that enemies of Pakistan don’t want that Pakistan should have storage capacity adding that demand of the construction of KBD has been turned in to the movement and chambers of commence of Pakistan are fully supporting this movement.
He said that before construction of Tarbela and Chasma, Sindh was receiving an average of about 36 million acre ft from the Indus River. However, after the commissioning of Tarbela Dam, the Sindh province receives an average of 43 MAF from the river systems, an increase of 7.00 MAF. KBD would provide more water to Sindh.