ISLAMABAD  The growing energy crisis is badly affecting the business activities and contributing to rising inflation in the country, was stated by Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) while meeting with Raja Pervez Ashraf, Minister for Water and Power in his office. He said that energy is a prerequisite for the development and growth of business and industry and economy of Pakistan cannot progress without achieving self-sufficiency in energy. He said Pakistan's power shortage is over 4000 mw in peak hours, which is 40 percent of the total demand. President ICCI appreciated the efforts and initiatives of present government for creating energy resources to meet the required energy demand. He said that in the last several years no effort was made for the generation of electricity and lauded the role of the present government for taking measures for electricity generation. He said that Peoples Party came into the government taking the mandate of the people of Pakistan to give them relief, whereas prices are going higher day by day due to hike of petroleum prices in the international market. He said that rising inflation is damaging the image of Peoples Party and emphasized for taking immediate measures to arrest the inflation. Muhammad Ijaz Abbasi said recent decision of government to make 68 percent increase in gas price for captive power generation has badly hurt business and industrial sectors and particularly textile industry has received biggest blow from this hike. He said textile sector contributes more than 60 percent to the total exports of Pakistan, but 68 percent increase in gas for power generation rates will cripple our textile industry. He said 70 to 80 percent textile and other Large Scale Manufacturing Units had their own captive power generation and the recent measure would force them to become sick units besides creating a new generation of unemployed workforce. Therefore, he stressed upon the government to take urgent remedial measures to rescue our business and industry from utter ruin. President of ICCI further said government should not withdraw subsidy from electricity, as it will not only raise electricity tariff for common man, but will also have negative impact on business and industry.  He further said that government should facilitate the business community by early establishment of Industrial Estate in Sector I-17 of Islamabad. Speaking on the occasion, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Minister for Water and Power welcomed the ICCI President and other senior members in his office and appreciated the role being played by ICCI to strive for the interests of business and industry. The Minister said he was one of the founding members of ICCI and always advocated for the promotion of business activities in his capacity as a member. He said his government is fully determined to facilitate the growth of business and industry in the country by adopting business oriented and investment friendly policies. He said to overcome energy crisis, government is planning to build more dams in the country. He said government is taking different initiative to reduce load shedding by August 2008, which will mitigate the woes of consumers as well as of business and industrial sectors. He also assured ICCI President that he would seriously take up the issue of 68 percent rise in gas prices for captive power plants for seeking a suitable solution of this problem. The Minister assured ICCI President that electricity should be provided to the proposed Industrial Estate. He said that government would take all important decisions by taking into confidence the business community so that our economy could grow on fast track.  He said business community should also support the government in its efforts to cope with different challenges being faced by our economy so that nation could come out of this tough time with honor and dignity. Khalid Javed, Nasir Khan, Munawar Moughal, Mian Akram Farid, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Khalid Iqbal Malik & Ashfaq Mehmood were also present in the meeting.