FAISALABAD
Criticising the massive power loadshedding and rising electricity shortfall, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association urged the incoming government to speed up the construction of nuclear and wind power plants, which are cost competitive, safe and reliable.They urged the upcoming government to take measures on a war footing to better the situation as it has created new threats to the survival of industries and the overall economy. Regretting that the shortfall has risen to a staggering 5500 MW, PTEA Chairman Asghar Ali and Vice Chairman Muhammad Asif said that due to electricity and gas shortage in the country, industry is suffering with Rs1 billion daily loss while thousands of workers have lost their jobs. “If the problem is not resolved on emergency basis, all the efforts to promote industrialisation and job creation will prove to be futile,” they added. “Industrial sector is the main victim of this massive loadshedding despite the fact that business community fulfils its national obligations by paying all taxes to the government. Loadshedding is adding to the woes of business community, while the government is torturing them by enhancing the electricity tariff. It is a sheer injustice that instead of controlling line losses and making arrangements to stop electricity thefts, the authorities are busy worsening the situation.” They said that if immediate measures were not taken to ensure continuous supply of electricity to the industrial units, nothing could stop the industrial wheel from coming to a halt and resultantly massive lay-offs. Industry was already passing through a very difficult times and the non-supply of power adding fuel to fire, they added.The PTEA chairman was of the view that Pakistan is endowed with plenty of renewable energy resources like wind and solar, which still remain untapped. Adoption and deployment of renewable energy resources can play a significant role in contributing towards energy security and energy independence of the country, he argued. There are a many options for the government to cope with the energy crisis and one of these is to go for nuclear power generation. He said, there is a worldwide trend of nuclear power generation because of uncertain oil prices. He said that currently about 436 nuclear power plants, with cumulative net output of 370,326 MW are operating in 31 countries while Pakistan has only 1.7 percent share of nuclear power in its total energy mix. Asif said that another good option for the government to reduce energy crisis is to exploit the huge potential of hydropower generation. Only KPK has a potential to generate 50,000 MW hydropower and the government should build small dams to exploit this potential. For this purpose, private sector should be encouraged by simplifying the process of establishing micro-power stations in potential areas, he added.The PTEA leaders stressed that the government should encourage the private sector to come forward and play a proactive role to overcome the energy crisis.