LAHORE Instead of raising tariff, the government should control power theft and focus on bringing more efficiency in the working of power transmission and distribution companies because the inefficiency of the companies (Discos) was causing losses of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. This advice was given to the government by the speakers at a forum arranged by The Nation at Hameed Nizami Hall on Saturday. The speakers included noted economist Dr Kh Amjad Saeed, MPA Dr Asad Ashraf, Hafiz Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, Aima Mehmood, Pakistan Engineers Forum President Imtiaz Hussain and Khawaja Farrukh Saeed The participants said that if the government brings transparency in its policies and politicians play their role effective nothing can stop Pakistan from attaining the status of business hub of the world. They said that for arresting the decline in economy and fast increasing graph of unemployment, the government would have to come up public friendly policies. The speakers said the government should also focus on alternative energy sources, including solar, hydro, coal, biomass and windmill energy, as they are the cheap ways to generate electricity. They said the standard transmission and distribution losses all over the world were less than 10 percent of the total production while Pakistan was experiencing 35-40pc losses. They said the people were already facing great problems amidst high inflation and terrorism, hence the further hike would make their life more miserable. They said that the people were expecting that the present government would be bringing a positive change but unfortunately the rulers have broken all the previous records of borrowings and these massive borrowings are one of the major reasons of fast escalating inflation in the country. They said that on one hand the government was doing away with subsidies on electricity and on the other, it was frequently hiking power rates due to which power tariff in Pakistan has become highest in South Asia and unbearable for average person in Pakistan. They said the countrys exports were facing strong competition due to high tariff from regional competitors who were enjoying affordable power tariffs. Hike in tariffs will enhance cost of doing business, besides hurting industrial growth. They said that Pakistan was a very blessed country because solar energy is available in most cities throughout the year. Similarly wind energy is readily available in the coastal areas. They urged upon the govt to do proper planning for exploiting these cheap energy sources instead of depending on thermal power generation.