Businesses and industries in Pakistan are facing challenges due to the lockdown situation in the country, especially with the summer season approaching fast. Due to the global decrease in oil prices, it is a good time to also initiate the lowering of energy prices so that the domestic market can benefit from the current situation. The government is already introducing a reduction in tariffs to keep business activity going post the lockdown. Another initiative in the loop is the introduction of softer loans for big businesses to keep the wheel of production running despite the lack of funds in the market.

It would also be beneficial for both the government and the stakeholders to reduce energy prices across the board, which will bring down the cost of production effectively. Many of the energy rates are determined by loan commitments of our country and the adjustments the government has to make to satisfy international institutions. Creditors realising the exceptional situation that the globe is facing at the moment and agreeing to defer loan payments is also a good sign that lowering energy prices can be considered in the economy.

Once businesses and industries open up again, the cost of keeping them running will be a challenge. If energy prices are not lowered as per the push in the international market, there is a great chance that most of the finances being earned will be used to pay off utility bills, preventing production from fully flourishing, keeping things stagnant. The entire international market is adjusting itself to the current changes.

Pakistan also needs to effectively match the efforts, particularly with regards to economic activity in the country, as that will be the major source of income in the near future. With the lockdown extended for another two weeks, the government has ample time to consider the benefits of such a move and facilitate all stakeholders and incentivise them to use any opportunities provided by the state to help ease issues in their businesses.