ISLAMABAD - Government should have allocated sufficient funds for the development of water and power sector in the budget 2012-13 to cope with energy crisis.

There is dire need to initiate various power projects to bridge supply and demand gap as it is high time to develop all available energy generating resources including hydel, thermal and wind to end the energy crisis, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), made these remarks during a meeting held at Chamber House. ICCI President said that the industrial sector could not wait for long, therefore government should present quick solution to fill in the gap between demand and supply of energy.

He said that government should have allocated more funds in the announced budget for tapping Thar Coal potential because these reserves could play a pivotal role in meeting energy crises both in long term and short term which would enhance industrial competitiveness due to cost effectiveness.

He expressed concern over the allocation of very diminutive money which has been set for the development of water and power sector that is only 6 percent of the total budget outlay and also stresses a mini budget every month in the form of gas and electricity price hike is destroying the industry and measures should be taken on immediate stop on these mini budgets.

Yassar Sakhi Butt said that government should also strive hard to attract foreign investors by giving them lucrative incentives to invest in energy projects in Pakistan, aiming to bring down expensive oil-based energy generation in the country.

He said that Pakistan’s electricity demand was increasing by 7 per cent annually and allocation of small amount of funds in the budget 2012-13 for new dams and water reservoirs were insufficient. ICCI President said that high power tariff, a burden on businesses and consumers, could be reduced by utilizing the available water resources more efficiently as the water is the most viable and cheapest way to produce electricity.