ISLAMABAD - The government yesterday gave fresh dateline of November 2017 for ending loadshedding in the country, amid the long hours of unannounced loadshedding being faced by the people in different parts of the country.
“With the energy reforms and positive initiatives of the current government, electricity loadshedding in Pakistan would end by November 2017,” said Dr Miftah Ismail, minister of state and Board of Investment chairman, while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The minister’s statement came at the time when the country is facing massive electricity shortfall of 4,554MW due to the unprecedented early heat wave and low hydel power generation.
The current power generation from all sources was 12,586MW against a demand of 17,140MW on April 3.
Miftah said the incumbent government has started energy projects of 25,000MW, which would be added to the national grid.
Sharing the details of the projects, he revealed LNG terminal would be operational by July or August this year and LNG gas supply would be enhanced from 600MMBTU to 18,000 MMBTU that would reduce gas shortage.
He said the government was exploiting cheap energy sources to gradually bring down the cost of electricity that would also reduce cost of doing business in Pakistan and make our industry more competitive.
He was hopeful that new gas connections for industry would be opened by August this year.
The Board of Investment chairman said that level-playing field would be provided to Pakistani and Chinese investors in CEPC projects and interest of local business community would not be compromised.
He said zero income tax and zero duty on import of machinery would be available to investors for investing in SEZ under CPEC for a certain period while the government would ensure supply of electricity and gas to the investors.
He said if the private sector was interested in developing industrial zones under CPEC, the government would encourage it. He invited ICCI delegation to his office for consultation regarding the establishment of ICT Model Industry Zone in Islamabad under CPEC.
Speaking on this occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, president, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that for lack of a new industrial zone in Islamabad, many industrialists were shifting to other areas, urging BoI to accelerate efforts for setting up ICT Model Industrial Zone in Islamabad under CPEC in consultation with ICCI to encourage industrialisation.
He said FDI and exports in other regional countries were on the rise while Pakistan was witnessing decline in FDI and exports.
He advised the government to make export and investment friendly policies in consultation with the private sector to stop this unhealthy trend.