LAHORE: Highlighting the country’s dire need to improve energy supply and water scarcity, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has voiced its concerns and hopes that the upcoming budget can target these areas.
In a statement, LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said that keeping in view the growing energy demand and water scarcity, there is an urgent requirement to allocate maximum funds for energy and water projects.
“Energy is the engine of growth and being an agrarian country the availability of sufficient water is a must, therefore, these two particular areas should be the top priority of the government in the forthcoming budget”, the LCCI office-bearers added.
They said that sufficient energy would not only result in expansion of the industrial sector and generate new jobs but would also double exports.
The LCCI office-bearers said the government should allocate adequate funds for the Kalabagh Dam and the Thar coal project. They said that the country’s reliance on costly thermal power is jacking up the cost of production and the import bill as well. “The country needs an urgent transfer in its energy-mix in favour of hydel power and alternate energy resources.”
They suggested that the use of biogas should be promoted in rural areas both for electricity generation and gas for cooking besides producing bio fertiliser. They said that over 175 billion tons of Thar coal reserves are enough to provide 100,000 megawatts of electricity for 100 years.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.
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