Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday deplored the failure of federal and provincial governments in power generation which was resulting into massive layoffs, retrenchments, decreasing income and shutting down of private business across country, leaving thousands jobless to commit suicide and forcing others to commit crimes.
In a statement issued here from the party’s media center, Imran Khan held PPP and PML-N governments responsible for the massive economic crunch which had held the government hostage to toeing the policies of foreign powers and allowing the foreign countries to dictate their terms on Pakistan.
The PTI Chief expressed grave concern over growing energy crisis in the country, stating that the energy shortage had been eating away Rs 600 billion per year of the GDP while it had also resulted in decline in exports and closure and shifting abroad of small and big industry units which had forced devaluation of rupee and decline in the foreign exchange reserves.
Khan said that the federal and provincial governments had badly failed in strategizing to deal with the problem during the past five years which had left millions of poor peasants jobless and hundreds had been forced to commit suicide.
Imran Khan said that the year 2013 was also a year of severe accountability and the people of Pakistan would hold the federal and Punjab governments accountable for their sin of ignoring their miseries and making mockery of the energy crisis.
He said that gas closure had already put the jobs of over 15 million people and exports of around $14 billion at stake. Khan said that industrial units in Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala and Lahore have been badly suffered due to prolonged power outages and suspension of gas supply to the industries, leaving thousands of industrial units shut down or shifted abroad.
“Despite the fact that thousands of industry units have either been closed or have been shifted to Bangladesh, Dubai, Malaysia and other countries due to continued load-shedding and gas shortage, neither the federal government nor the Punjab government bothered to boost electricity generation,” said the PTI Chairman.
Khan said that it was more disturbing that rather than strategizing for energy generation, federal and Punjab governments had started politicizing the energy shortage which reflected that both the governments had no concern to the problems faced by the people in streets.
“Under the NFC award, it had been decided that every province will have the first right to the electricity produced by itself and any excess amount may be made available for the rest of National Grid distribution. As Punjab has the highest consumption of electricity and relatively produces a lot less therefore for Punjab there will always be a deficit of electricity,” said Imran Khan.
The PTI chief said that while the masses were struggling to deal with the electricity shortage, closure of CNG stations and shortage of petrol had left the life to a standstill in across country and people had been stranded in their homes.
“The industrial sector of Punjab has suffered the most due to worst load shedding and suspension of gas supply which is getting severer by each passing day. Despite the fact that Punjab has a major role in total agriculture and industrial production of the country, the lack of will of the federal government and Punjab governments to generate energy has hit hard the two sectors of the province,” he added.
He said that the recent gas shortage in the country in general and in Punjab in specific is hitting the labour classes hard. He demanded that all provinces should be treated equally in supply of these important utilities. “The government would have to reset its priorities regarding provision of gas otherwise situation would go out of hands.”
He said that around 40 per cent of the industrial units in Punjab run on gas and gas suspension means no production by almost half of the industry and a loss of millions of rupees to the exchequer.
“The government is committing an economic massacre of the industrial workers by turning the province into a trading place instead of a manufacturing hub. The federal government should do away with lopsided gas supplies. Otherwise, the people would have to take to streets and the rulers would have to face wrath of the jobless and unemployed,” he concluded.