Business: (Govt plan to eliminate power subsidies lauded)


ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Tuesday lauded the decision of the government to phase out power subsidies gradually terming it in the best interest of country.

It is very difficult for Pakistan to survive without foreign aid in presence of power sector, energy and other subsidies, he said. Talking to Patron of Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt, he said that subsidies have not benefited poor but rich while it misbalance the budget.

He said that subsidies leave little funds with government to spend of public welfare, it boost demand while reduces investment in renewables. Subsidies also contributes to social injustice, discourages private sector and push up the global warming, he added.

Mian Shahid said that losses of the power subsidy have reached to an extent that it has become an issue of national security. Different countries are paying around two trillion dollar in power subsidies which if abolished will reduce global demand and decrease global warming by 13 per cent. Our oil import bill will touch mark of $ 40 billion in seven years, enough to leave Pakistan bankrupt if urgent steps were not taken.

Mian Shahid said that country will be unable to cope with the circular debt in presence of power subsidies which is deterring local and foreign investors. Thar holds 99 per cent more energy than whole gas reserves of Pakistan put together but the speed of development is frustrating, he observed.