Speaking at an awards ceremony at the chambers of commerce, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif painted a very optimistic picture of energy in Pakistan. He said that against the 18 hours of load-shedding before 2013, the government has been able to eliminate load-shedding altogether for the industrial sector and the inconvenience would be over for domestic consumers as well by 2018. The government insists that exports last month grew by 6.2 percent as against the same month last year due to provision of uninterrupted power supply and other factors.

The directive of uninterrupted power supply to the industrial sector, although great in theory, is not a novel one. It has been making rounds in the news every six months since 2014 but complaints of load shedding have not yet ceased. In Ramadan this year, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) expressed serious concerns over the government move to observe almost 10 hours load-shedding during the month. According to the ICCI in July 2016, Pakistan's exports had fallen by over 14 percent during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year and load-shedding in Ramadan further declined exports.

After heavy load-shedding in Ramadan, the government notified reduced electricity tariff for the agriculture sector all over the country except in Balochistan. The agriculture sector power consumers are now to be charged Rs5.35 a unit in off peak hours instead of current rate of Rs8.85/unit, however the peak hour rate of Rs10.35 will continue.

There is no doubt that the government has been making a concerted effort to ease electricity woes of the business community and is giving incentives to increase production and imports. The idea of zero load-shedding is commendable if actually implemented.