BHURBAN: All Pakistan Chambers’ Presidents Conference has unanimously agreed in what was termed as Bhurban Declaration, that Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline was the only option to overcome energy crisis and asked government to implement the project on top priority.
The two-day conference was hosted by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was attended by over 32 chambers of commerce across the country.
RCCI President Shimail Daud said that the government must provide gas either from Iran or Turkmenistan. “We have made it very clear to Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal that industrial sector was on the verge of collapse due to want of energy. The minister assured us but we want the project to be accomplished at the earliest,” he said.
The conference unanimously agreed that until the IP gas project was materialised, the government must prioritize industrial sector for energy distribution in order to avert shutting down of industrial units in the country. The conference also urged parliamentarians to amend constitution and make agriculture tax a federal subject in order to increase tax net as currently there was no tax collection on agriculture.
“The government must implement a liberalized power production policy focusing on hydro power projects, bio-fuels and LNG in order to reduce dependency on excessive oil imports,” he added.
The declaration suggested that duration of load shedding should be set on the basis of line losses and revenue recovery position of distribution companies adding that contracts with inefficient IPPs should be cancelled.
The chambers’ presidents also reminded political parties of their election manifestos prior to general elections in which respective political leaders had pledged to resolve energy crisis and facilitate investments in the country.
“It is sad that all political parties that had pledged to reform economy and increase tax net have done away with the promises. They should stand united on resolving the core issues otherwise they are left with no option but to watch the industry sinking,” said Engineer Suhail Bin Rashid, President of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Abdullah Zaki said on the occasion that despite operation in the metropolis, business community was not feeling secure. He demanded the government to provide protection to investors.