LAHORE - The business community Saturday fully endorsed and backed the Council of Common Interest’s decision that power supply to the national grid should be increased.

They said that the trade and industry had already been facing hardships due to power crisis and consequences of the KCCI petition against the CCI decision would devastate national growth that had already plunged to alarmingly low level.

“If the decision of CCI is not implemented it would jeopardize the business community efforts aimed at rejuvenating economic activities in the country.”

They said that the mandate given to CCI under the Constitution is not restricted to formulation and regulation of policies only but it is a forum that has absolute powers and only joint Parliament session can undo Council Common Interest decisions therefore the government is left with no other option but to implement decisions.

The LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the KESC is being supplied 600 MW of power through the national grid while according to the agreement KESC has to self-generate 300MW of power which is not being implemented.

He said that the KESC needs to use its idle capacity to reduce their 650 megawatts import from national grid by 300 MW.

He said that the CCI decision would not only help reduce loadshedding in the other federating units but it would also add to the national growth as a large number of industrial units particularly in Punjab had already stopped their operations.

He said that the gas and electricity shortages were not only hitting hard the productions at domestic level but also damaging the investment in the country at the moment when the neighbouring countries were progressing leaps and bounds.

The LCCI President said that the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry must not be party to the issue as all the chambers of commerce in the country represent business community and the electricity shortage in one province has serious implications for the businessmen in the other parts of the country.

“Challenges to the economy including unavailability of gas, unprecedented power cuts, delayed decision-making on important national economic issues, lengthy procedures, poor public transport mechanism, law and order and smuggling had dogged the investment scenario.”

He said that unless and until energy is not made available to the industrial sector, efforts to attract investment would hardly bear fruit. He said that economic scene is not as rosy as in being painted by some circles as no foreign buyer is ready to come to Pakistan because these challenges.