MULTAN : The business community of Southern Punjab called on the government to exploit the vast natural potential of solar resources for generation of maximum electricity.

They said that Pakistan is blessed with enormous solar potential and it can generate around three million megawatts of electricity from solar source.

Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said, "Focus on solar power is essential for energy security which will not only fulfil all our needs but we will be able to export it to other countries." He said the government spends about $12 billion annually on the import of crude oil of which 70pc oil is used for generation of power that costs Rs18 per unit. "Switching over to solar energy can help reduce electricity costs down to Rs8 to 6 per unit which can help millions of people in Pakistan not connected with the national grid," he pointed out.

Mr Roomi said that the cost of solar power would come down substantially; therefore it should be focused.

He informed that global usage of solar power has jumped from five GW to 227 GW during 2005-2010 while the cost of power generation has reduced from 76 dollars per KV in 1977 to three cents in 2014.