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Govt trying best to resolve energy crisis: minister

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi on Tuesday said government was trying best to resolve energy crisis on operating and strategic level, as economic growth could not be compromised at any cost.

The energy crisis necessitates radical steps coupled with input from all the stakeholders otherwise it will transform into a national security threat, which is not affordable, he said.

Jatoi at a 4-day international workshop on energy policy in Asia-Pacific region organised by National Productivity Organisation (NPO) in collaboration with the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) of Japan and World Confederation of Productivity Science said gradual increase in demand outstripped the power generation which paved way for the present crisis as decisions were not taken in time.

He said policy prescriptions should not remain limited to the tariff revision, phasing out of subsidies and removal of the circular debt as addressing the issue on sustainable basis would require sincere effort, he added.

Jatoi said the policies of the government are attracting mega investments in hydro, gas, coal, and renewable energy which would result in lasting solution to the energy crisis through short and long term projects.

Pakistan’s energy crisis would not allow luxuries of short-term considerations and misguided notions; he said adding that we would have to accept the high cost of electricity as long as oil accounts for a major portion of the power generation process.

Why waste so much money on fossil fuels when we have been blessed with abundant resources like solar, wind, hydro, and biomass, he questioned.

He directed NPO to improve energy audit mechanism, which could help lessen the crisis by reducing energy consumption while cutting costs and improving human comfort, health and safety.

Khawaja Yousuf, International Coordinator APO Ms Yasuko Asano, representatives of government agencies, private sector, academia and experts from Japan, Thailand, Magnolia, Malaysia Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Nepal and Vietnam were also present.

Yousuf, Ms Yasuko Asano and others discussed potential impacts of energy policies on all the sectors of economy, environment and the masses.

They shared issues, challenges success stories and water availability, identified the areas of policy gaps which needed further review and discussed opportunities as well as lessons learnt in the energy policy in the different economies.

Pakistan needs affordable and predictable energy while some of the current options are limited and expensive and stressed on combating pilferage, promotion of energy conservation, increased commercial transparency, strengthened regulatory entities, and a competitive energy market.

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