Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for adopting emergency measures to resolve inefficiencies in energy sector to save economy
Islamabad: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that inefficiencies in the energy sector have to be addressed on an emergency basis to save the national economy from an utter crash.
While addressing a dialogue on “Energy crises and way forward” organized by the Energy Update here at the Islamabad Club, the former PM said that inefficient working of the power and gas sectors had been affecting the entire economy.
He said the entire national economy had to suffer when the energy sector couldn’t work in an efficient manner and find solutions to its long-persisting problems as was the case in Pakistan.
He told the audience that the energy sector was a large part of the national economy as its inefficient working would affect every economic and financial component in the country.
Abbasi said the first and foremost problem was that the gas sector of the country couldn’t recover the cost price of the essential energy commodity they supplied to consumers all over the country.
He said the domestic consumers had to learn that they had to pay the price of the gas they had been using for their household needs.
Abbasi who also heads the PM’s Task Force on Energy said that inefficient use of natural gas in the country was another major problem of the energy sector.
“It is pitiful that we do have gas in our kitchens to cook food but we don’t have gas to feed our power plants,” said the former PM.
He said the power plants were shut down due to curtailment of gas supply as resultantly the energy sector had to massively suffer due to the higher cost of electricity generation and inefficient transmission system.
The former PM urged the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to play a leadership role in finding out solutions to the problems of the power sector.
He suggested that privatization was key to resolving the issue of inefficient power distribution companies in the country. He said the inefficient DISCOS in the country accounted for up to 80 per cent of the problem which persists in the power sector.
Abbasi who is chairman task force on energy said that provinces as per the constitution had to play an important role to improve the working of the DISCOS.
Also speaking on the occasion, Iqbal Z Ahmed, Chairman of the Associated Group and renowned energy sector investor, urged the present government to immediately open up the LNG business to the private sector in the country.
He acknowledged the role of Abbasi in introducing LNG in Pakistan for resolving the energy crisis but now it was high time that the former PM should play his role to allow the private sector to run the LNG business without any undue restrictions.
Ahmed said that the monopoly of the two state-run gas companies on the LNG business should end as the private sector should be allowed to sell the imported gas commodity to the many prospective buyers in the private sector that were not just limited to the power sector.
Earlier, Naeem Qureshi of Energy Update welcomed the audience and said that he aimed to organize more such interactive events to let the relevant stakeholders thoroughly discuss and find solutions to the problems of the energy sector.
Secretary Petroleum Capt (Retd.) Muhammad Mahmood, Tauseef H. Farooqi, Chairman NEPRA, Masroor Khan Chairman OGRA, Shah Jahan Mirza Managing Director, PPIB & CEO AEDB, Jamil Ahmed Member Power WAPDA,
Halima khan H/o corporate affairs and sustainbility
Marie Bresdjar Adviser center of global coperation Danish Energy, Maria Ana Petera H.O green growth and Sustainability Embassy of Denmark, Ted from Longi Green Tech China, Shahid Karim, N A Zuberi, Advisor CTG, Sultan Ahmed CEO koak Hydropower, Ghulam Mustafa Manager Longi Solar & others also participated in the event.