Resolving Energy crisis top most priority of the Government: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, June 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): PML-N government is fully aware of the negative impact of load shedding on trade and Industry and Planning Commission is developing short, medium and long-term plans to overcome energy crisis. This was said by Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Developing while exchanging views with a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry that called on him led by Zafar Bakhtawari, President, ICCI The Federal Minister said that overcoming the energy crises is the top most priority of the government and we would use all options to minimize ill effects of energy shortage on business and economy. He said an amount of Rs.225 billion has been allocated to energy sector in the budget and its positive impact would start emerging in coming months.

Ahsan Iqbal said PML-N government would make business-friendly policies so that private sector could assume bigger role in the economic development of the country. He assured that all problems of trade and industry including power shortage would be resolved as the government is giving key focus to investment promotion, industrialization, agricultural reforms and infrastructure building.

Speaking at the occasion, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry congratulated Mr. Ahsan Iqbal on taking charge as Federal Minister for Planning and Development and hoped that under his guidance, Planning Commission will come up with innovative plans to facilitate the growth of commercial and industrial activities. He appreciated government decision to allocate Rs.500 billion in the budget to clear circular debt as it would bring positive change in energy scenario.

He said the basic reason of current power crisis is the policy failure of governments as no government bothered to foresee the rising energy needs of the country and make advance planning accordingly to meet such needs. He stressed for harnessing cheap energy sources including hydro and coal as over 50 percent reliance on furnace oil for power generation is the major cause of very high production cost in Pakistan.

ICCI President showed concern on allowing FBR access to bank accounts of customers for improving tax collection as it would create harassment in business community and spark capital flight causing damaging effect on the economy. He also expressed reservations on 0.5 percent income support levy on net movable assets and increasing turnover tax from 0.5 percent to 1 percent in the Budget 2013-14 and called for withdrawal of these proposals to save business community for more difficulties.

Mr. Mehmood Ahmad Warraich Senior Vice President ICCI, Mian Akram Farid and Mr. Baser Daud former Presidents ICCI, M/s. Khalid Ch and Babar Ch were also in ICCI delegation.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950

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