MULTAN: As a result of the power crisis in the country, imports of power generation machinery have touched $1.82 billion in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
The industrial sector has started producing its own electricity to free itself from the energy crisis and persistent increases in power tariffs.
The trend of self-generation gained momentum in 2005, after which the country witnessed a sharp increase in the import of power generation machinery. Imports were worth $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2007-08, $1.75 billion in 2008-09 and $1.74 billion in 2009-10.
Having already surpassed the imports in 2009-10 in just seven months, experts believe imports will touch $2.25 billion by the end of the current fiscal year.
Industrialists are worried about unfavourable government policies, particularly in the energy sector, claiming their businesses have been severely affected.
The power crisis and consequently tariff hikes are bound to push up prices of raw material associated with the industrial sector.
Cotton prices have already jumped to record highs in recent weeks. Over half a million small power looms have been closed or shifted from the country to Bangladesh over the last few years due to favourable policies and low cost of production.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.