LAHORE - The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday urged the Punjab government to allocate maximum funds for electricity generation though coal in the upcoming budget as 12 to 14 hours power cuts have totally crippled its economy.

In a statement issued here, LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh suggested the government to utilize coal for cheaper electricity that would be costing only Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 per unit against the thermal electricity that is Rs 16 plus per unit.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that it was very unfortunate that Pakistan at the moment is producing only one per cent of its electricity by coal when neighbouring India is making around 70 percent of its total electricity by coal, China 80 per cent, South Africa 93 per cent, Poland 92 per cent, Australia 77 percent, Kazakhstan 70 per cent and United States 49 percent.

The LCCI President said that the province would become a hub of economic activities and its progress would be exemplary if the Punjab government comes up with a comprehensive coal policy in its budget.

He said that it is deplorable that in neighbouring India businessmen were doing their businesses or running their industrial units with peace of mind and full concentration but in Pakistan the Industrial closures and flight of capital is order of the day.

He said that the government’s reliance on thermal generation has reversed the energy mix that needs to be corrected in the larger interests of the country.