Proactive measures urged to meet energy deficit

  • July 17, 2010
Pakistan’s energy future is becoming more threatening as the country’s power deficit is likely to increase 22 percent by 2015 and 64 percent by 2030 as compared to anticipated energy supply and government should take urgent proactive measures to meet rising energy demand.

This was said by Mr.Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while chairing a meeting of ICCI Sub-Committee on Energy. He said that energy is the key input for socio-economic development and a basic requirement for driving the engine of growth. But the rising gap in supply and demand, if not met with urgent measures, will become the greatest hindrance in improving the economy.
 
He said that realizing the vital importance of energy for business and industry, many rapidly growing developing economies like China, Russia and India are taking all possible steps to increase their energy supply while Pakistan is still lagging behind in its efforts of overcoming the energy deficit. 

The Committee members said that Pakistan would need more than $14 billion investment in energy sector in the next 10 years because according to power experts, electricity demand would continue to increase in the next 20 years. However, they said that if government did not take timely action to attract investment in energy sector, cost of doing business would continue to surge creating more difficulties for entrepreneurs to promote business activities. 

They said that the current trend of regular and prolonged power outages, if continued, would hold back the industrialists from meeting production targets while agricultural productivity would also decline. This would lead to lower than targeted exports putting a severe impact on the GDP growth.

Mr.Zahid Maqbool said that the contribution of electricity and gas generation to GDP growth for 2009-10 has already shown a declining trend, indicating a worrisome sign that the country is heading towards the most severe crisis on these two accounts.

He said that the investment of private sector in electricity and gas has also registered a declining trend of negative 18 per cent while public sector investment in this sector has shown 3 per cent decline in 2009-10. He said government should reverse these dangerous trends by announcing more incentives for investment in energy sector through public-private partnership so that the country could become self-sufficient in energy generation.