ISLAMABAD - The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday said government should take steps to give relief to masses from loadshedding in the holy month of Ramzan. The issue of circular debt should be resolved by paying outstanding amount of Rs414 billion to power producers so that power plants could be run according to their capacity, it said. The loadshedding season starts well before arrival of summer and now country is facing a shortfall of 7000 megawatts which can be reduced by paying the debt, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, Chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries.

He said that power shortfall has led to frequent power cuts hitting agriculture and industries while frustrating people across the country. Power outages have disturbed the lives of the people, students are facing difficulties and emergency wards in government hospitals are also without power, he added. Atif Ikram Sheikh said that authorities should look into this matter without any further delay as the situation has now reached at an alarming state due to unannounced loadshedding. Every year, before the holy month it is announced that masses would be spared during Sahar and Iftar but it is confined to some cities while majority of the people living in rural areas face problems, he noted. He said that the people living in rural areas who are vulnerable to severe heatwave also need proper sleep at night. The business leader said that the holy month of Ramzan is coming closer and people have become concerned about the preparation of predawn meals amid frequent black outs. NNI