LAHORE - The industrial community has rejected decisions taken in the second National Energy Conference, saying the country’s export has declined by over 40 per cent owing to acute shortage of energy but the leaders are still busy in delivering mere flowery speeches and conducting conferences.

They said that energy conference is nothing but a jugglery of words and an attempt to throw sand in the eyes of dejected masses.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) coordinator and former chairman Ijaz Khokhar said that government always claim to prefer trade over aid but it has never taken any step to boost our export rather it has always been busy in conspiring against the industry including value-added textile manufacturing sector.

Mr Khokhar, reacting to the recommendations of the energy conference to just conserve energy by working five days a week, has criticized the government, saying that the whole attention has been given to conservation instead of generation of electricity, while no roadmap has been given to the payment of circular debts.

He criticised the government for making the energy conference meaningless by not presenting any solid formula to generate power through new power projects. In simple words this whole conference was a futile process, which will result in nothing, he said.

He added that the government should focus on resolving energy issues instead of programs like Benazir Income Support Scheme, laptop distribution, yellow cabs and now the rickshaw scheme for Jialas.

He asked the government to devise such a scheme, which ensured steady supply for those who pay their bills regularly.

He said no single step has been taken for power generation since the present govt has come into power, neither it allocated a penny in any budget for hydel power production. He urged the government to consider alternative measures for saving energy and enhancing the capacity of electricity generating units.

He said that decisions taken in the second National Energy Conference are good but difficult to implement. He said that the conference will not be able to offer anything to Punjab except promises and the outcome of the conference will not be very different from the earlier one which achieved nothing. He said that Energy Conference must have given some long-term solution to the aggravating energy crisis but it has failed to come up with any such breakthrough.

He observed that decisions like closure of markets at 8 pm, electricity suspension to the neon signs and two holidays in the government departments would hardly help in bridging gap between demand and supply of the electricity. Particularly two holidays would create more hurdles for the trade and industry.

They said that two holidays would halt business activities and laid very negative impacts on economy as bank and other concerned government departments would remain close for two days. They said that working of government department was already examining the patient of businessmen while two holidays put more fuel on fire. They said that export oriented industry would suffering deficiently as it would has to wait two days for their necessary documents. “It would be better if government puts off the idea of two holidays”, he added.

He was of the view that government has failed to complete any project for sufficient and cheap power generation in the country. He said that despite a strong opposition by the private sector, the government adopted the path of rental power stations that have jacked up the cost of Pakistani products. He said that Kalabagh dam was a project of national importance the government shelved the project with a one stroke of pen.

He said that government should evolve a long strategy to get rid of the energy crisis. Government should allocate sufficient funds for the construction of large water reservoirs. He urged the government to complete the ongoing energy projects including Thar Coal and Diamer Bhasha Dam on war footing.