Pre-paid meters be introduced to overcome energy issues: ICCI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Monday called upon the government to seriously consider introducing pre-paid meters which was one of the good options to overcome circular debt and energy shortage issues.

“The circular debt issue has affected the energy supply to business and industry and multiplied problems of the common man and caused losses to the economy”, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, ICCI said.

He said that the system of pre-paid meters was an effective way to cope with issues of power sector liabilities and electricity theft.

He urged that government should introduce pre-paid meter system that would help in improving power sector cash flows leading to improved power generation and reduced loadshedding.

He said advanced countries tackled circular debt issues by using latest technology which automatically terminated the power supply to a unit in case of non-payment of bills, but it was unfortunate that in Pakistan defaulters enjoyed power supply while trade and industry suffered huge losses due to rising circular debt.

He said one of the major reasons of power sector woes was poor planning in this sector due to which many project projects have faced huge cost-overruns.

He said 6600 MW Gadani Park coal-based thermal power project was a good example of this fact.

The ICCI president said wind farms in Jhimpir were also struggling for commercial operations due to limitation of transmission system network.

Atif Ikram Sheikh stressed that government should take benefit of latest technology to streamline things in energy sector that would bring multiple benefits to the economy as it would overcome circular debt issue, improve energy supply to industry, enhance production activities, promote trade, improve exports, generate more employment and increase tax revenue of the country.

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