LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President LCCI Mian Nauman Kabir thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for taking effective measures on economy and accepting the LCCI suggestions for bringing down oil and power consumption.
A few days back, Lahore Chamber urged the Prime Minister to end across the board subsidy on petroleum products, reduction in consumption and considering reduction in working days. He said these steps would definitely help avoid the forex crisis.
“A country like Pakistan cannot afford to waste business community’s hard-earned foreign exchange to the unchecked import of oil products. Oil imports during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (July-April 2021-22) stood around 17 billion Dollars which were 95 percent more than that during the corresponding period last year,” Mian Nauman Kabir told media here.
He said that it was a very good sign that the government had accepted the LCCI proposals regarding removal of controversial subsidies on POL products, reduction in consumption and various others which were forwarded to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif through an open letter.
The LCCI President said that the government should keep in view the stakes of the Pakistan first, and remove controversial subsidies and eventually help the rupee and the current account recover.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that it was also a good sign the LCCI proposals for reduction in working days was seriously under consideration by the policy corridors.
He said that according to an estimate, it could save over $ 1.5 billion per annum. He said the government should also adjust daily working hours to get most of the business done during daylight hours. It would help bring down the skyrocketing utility cost. He added that by using daylight through installing effective skylights and panels, a business could cut its usage of traditional artificial lighting by as much as 80 percent, resulting in a substantially lower monthly utility bill. He said that according to various studies, daylight could be significantly healthier for workplace human resources.
The LCCI President said that Sunday should be considered a complete petrol-free day except for medical reasons and people should go for grocery and other necessary shopping on Sunday to the nearby shops by foot or bicycle. He said that till the time international oil prices came down, the usage of more than 1800cc vehicles should be discouraged.
The LCCI President said that conservation of energy and less reliance on energy produced from imported raw materials was the need of the hour. He said that Pakistan was one of those countries that were heavily dependent on hydrocarbon fuel for energy production. He said that this resulted in severe Co2 emissions that led to climate change. He added that although renewable energy resources such as wind and solar were available in abundance, they had not been fully utilized and so energy crises in Pakistan increased every year.