—Shujaat formula workable, in the national interest
By Asad Cheema
ISLAMABAD—The Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Tuesday said that decisions taken in the second National Energy Conference are good but difficult to implement. Energy Conference is a positive development but some of the decisions will be difficult to implement which calls for finding alternate steps, it said.
Speaking to business community, Tariq Mehmood, President ACCI said that Chief Minister Sindh has already expressed his reservations on some major decisions while another party representing urban areas of Sindh has opposed proposed step in the in camera session. Traders will never accept decision to close markets at 8 pm as business activities gain momentum after sun sinking below the horizon, he added.
Tariq Mehmood who is also Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Health and Director Pak-UK Business Council, FPCCI said that some decisions are against the agreements signed by the federal government with power utilities while some may be in the violation of the constitutions. He opined that government will never take steps that pleases Punjab but irks coalition partners in Khyber Paktonnkkhwa and Karachi.
Moreover, rural Sindh, the power base of the PPP-led coalition cannot be irritated under any set of circumstances. It seems that the conference will not be able to offer anything to Punjab except promises and the outcome of the conference will not be very different from the earlier one which achieved nothing. In this situation, the formula presented by PML-Q Chief Ch. Shujaat Hussain can be considered seriously to minimise load shedding to sooth masses and business community, he said.
Tariq Mehmood said that the formula in which provinces have been asked to sacrifice their 10 per cent share in the NFC for three months seems to be only workable solution to reduce load shedding across the country by 75 per cent.
If a consensus is reached on the formula, the federal government will have Rs 500 billion in excess to run to closed power houses and ensure the running of others on optimal capacity, he said. He said that initiatives to reduce power theft can also improve energy situation in country otherwise load shedding will never end.