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Insecurity, energy crisis termed growth constraint

Terming insecurity and energy crisis as the top constraints to economic growth during the five-year tenure of the PPP-led coalition government, the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has asked all the leading political parties to name their priorities before going for the upcoming elections.

While drafting their election manifesto, all political parties should prepare viable proposals in collaboration with energy experts and leading businessmen to be implemented by the government after coming into power, suggested APBF chairman Syed Nabeel Hashmi,.

Taking a strong exception to severe energy crisis, he suggested the government to hand over power distribution as well as management system to the provinces, which is the best possible solution to the prevailing energy crisis. He said that under the present government, the power sector is at the top of the list of hurdles crippling industries.

He warned that the economy is in serious trouble, as it has experienced the lowest growth period in the country’s history. “Inflation remained in double digits during the past five years, while deficit remained at six to seven per cent of the GDP,” he said.

He said that the APBF would not play the role of a silent spectator on the issue of gas and electricity outages for the Punjab industry. “The country spends 7.5 percent of GDP on buying fuel due to soaring energy crisis, while power cuts have shaved three to four percent of GDP, with the industry bearing the brunt,” he said.

APBF central president Rashid Mehr said that all political parties should work seriously to develop comprehensive short-term and medium-term strategies to ensure adequate supply of electricity and gas at affordable prices to agricultural and industrial consumers. He said that concrete steps are needed to reduce circular debt, which is hampering the country’s economic development.

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