Businesses should cooperate

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DESPITE initial promises and commitments by the new Government to reduce the load-shedding to zero, different parts of the country, especially rural ones are still facing long hours of power outages and the situation is unlikely to improve in weeks and months to come because of a combination of factors.

There are technical issues with some power plants, hydel power is on the decline due to long dry weather, other plants are not receiving fuel as per their requirements and the cost of generation would understandably go up due to massive increase in the prices of petroleum products and gas.

In this backdrop, it is the responsibility of each and every citizen to cooperate in the campaign to conserve energy and that too without harming the interests of the common man as well as businesses and industry.

It is not yet final but the federal government has decided, in principle, to suspend power supply to commercial feeders after 7pm for three hours to lessen electricity shortfall in the country as the measure would save about 5,000 MW of electricity.

Power supply to agricultural tube wells would also remain suspended from 7.00 p.m.to 11.00 p.m.to save about 3,000 MW electricity.

The proposal has apparently been floated after stiff resistance of the trading community to the previous plan of closing markets at 8.30 p.m.

The latest plan is workable as the Government is extending an assurance that there would be no load-shedding for businesses throughout the day, allowing uninterrupted economic opportunities throughout the country, which is crucial for revival of the economy besides ensuring prospects for gainful engagements for professionals and skilled workers.

It is mainly because of energy shortages that the Government has reversed the decision to declare Saturday as working day, which shows seriousness of the problem and the need to tackle the challenge through a national effort.

At the same time, the government should also resolve issues facing the energy sector on a fast-track basis as continuation of the load-shedding at a time when the country has surplus generation capacity is regrettable.