LAHORE - The business community on Thursday asked Adviser to PM on Petroleum & Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain to resign from his post as his ministry has completely failed to implement fundamental reforms and the energy situation aggravated further, creating more serious challenges for the industry as well as the public.

They said that severest-ever shortage of gas in the country calls for extraordinary measures on war-footing and people sitting at the helm of affairs are doing nothing in this regard.

They urged the government to expedite work on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. Work on this multi-million dollar project has been stalled for unknown reasons, they added. APAT general secretary Naeem Mir asked the government to introduce pre-paid meters for government institutions for advance recovery and to avoid losses. He said that about 45 percent of electricity generation was going down the drain because of theft, non-recovery of bills and system losses while over Rs426b electricity bills had not been paid.

He said that there are 12 per cent gas losses in Pakistan while it is not more than 3 percent rest of the world. He said that trade and industry have been calling on the government since long for the introduction of much needed reforms in the energy sector but unfortunately all appeals had fell on deaf ears with the result of huge cut in country’s economic growth. He said that 3-4 per cent cut in economic growth means fewer job opportunities and little local, foreign investment.

He suggested to the government to utilise coal for cheaper electricity that would be costing only Rs8 per unit against the thermal electricity that is Rs16 plus per unit.