Tag Archives: loadshedding

APBF

Current Export Portfolio Marred By Lack of Diversification: APBF


Sumera Saeed | June 16, 2017 | category: Business

The All Pakistan Business Forum president Ibrahim Qureshi has stated that a National Export Growth Strategy with ownership at the highest level and full commitment from the government is essential to control decline in export in the short term, transforming the export sector structurally in the long-term.

He said that the Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2015-18 has already identified the focus products and focus markets, which can help turn around exports in the short term.

He said that the current export portfolio is marred by a lack of diversification, as few products are exported by some exporters to limited markets. So, a major enhancement in exports requires huge and wide structural reforms.

He urged the government to take business community on board, who are the real stakeholders, in preparing policies to enhance exports so that fast widening trade deficit could be reduced, which is prerequisite for economic growth.

He suggested the relevant government departments to join heads with the private sector for finding out a methodology for increasing the exports of the country.

International image building is the need of the hour with complete overhauling of TDAP, besides formation of new trade specific export promotion agencies having independent budgets and policies.  He said that though energy shortage and law and order kept the economy hostage during the last many years, the government has a clear vision on the economic issues, which would help resolve their problems at the earliest.

He said that a quick turnaround can come from increasing competiveness of the existing export base and demand-led production of agricultural products, especially high value agriculture products.

The long-term strategy needs structural reforms of the entire export sector, including high tech and innovative products, value-added exports commodities and market diversification towards unexplored markets like South America and Africa.

APBF president urged the government that all stakeholders be taken on board while preparing industry-related policies, and asserted that industrial estates be exempted from loadshedding of electricity to meet the local market and export targets, which are presently facing loadshedding of 10 hours.

He asked the government to get input from the private sector on policies and encourage public private partnership to stimulate various government organizations. He also expressed concern over undue interference of Social Security Department, EOBI and Labor Departments and pointed out that tax refund claims were unduly delayed. Calling for establishment of more technical institutions, he said existing technical institutions were not competing the fast growing population of the country.

He said if the government fails to respond to private sector’s call, the economy will continue to slide ultimately resulting in closure of industry and trade.

power-outages

APBF protest against return of massive power outages


Sumera Saeed | May 9, 2017 | category: News

(APBF May 09th, 2017) – LAHORE – All Pakistan Business Forum President Ibrahim Qureshi has strongly protested against the return of massive power outages, which was crippling business activities across the country.

After rise in temperature the demand and supply gap has touched almost 6,500MW mainly due to the closure of old power plants at Guddu. In the same way, some units of Hubco and Nandipur were also closed, while power plants at the newly-inducted Bhikki and Haveli Bahadur Shah are still out of the system despite commitments of the government.

He called upon the government to resolve the matter, as the SMEs, which are not connected to industrial feeders, were presently facing up to 8-hour loadshedding while industrial feeders were also facing tripping issues in power supply. Like several other commitments, the government has failed to meet its promise of mitigating load shedding in commercial hubs and zero-loadshedding on industrial feeders, he added.

He stated that there was a huge gap between demand and supply of power. The ongoing power projects in the country would take some time for their commercial operation. Therefore, there was a dire need to take emergency steps in this regard, he suggested.

APBF president proposed that all available options should be utilized, such as restoring idle power projects and encouraging the industrial sector to operationalise their available captive power capacity to mitigate power shortages in the country.

Ibrahim Qureshi suggested that generating power through solar system should also be examined as such projects can be made operational in few months.

Ibrahim Qureshi said that the electricity load shedding has once again kicked up gear, reaching to around 8 to 10 hours in the provincial capital, as total power generation has declined mainly due to mismanagement of the government.

He said billions of rupees have been spent on Nandipur power plant just to accelerate the work on this project but unfortunately it didn’t happen mainly due to of lack of monitoring and inefficiency of the government. The APBF president said that WAPDA has an army of workforce but when it comes to the implementation of important projects, its efficiency is zero, as it failed to play the role of a good monitor.

He urged the government to evolve a new strategy to exploit hydel resources in shortest possible time. “The government claimed to end power outages for industrial sector but constant increase in energy demand continues to hit the businesses. Pakistan is one of those countries where water scarcity is intensifying with every passing day,” he added.

The APBF president lamented that annually, 35 million-acre feet water was being wasted in the sea despite the fact that this water could be used for irrigation and generation of cheap hydel power. Keeping in view the ongoing scenario, he said large dams were necessary, not only for storage of surface water, which is major component for agriculture, but also for generation of hydroelectricity, which is the cheapest and cleanest form of energy.