Despite lofty claims by the government to end loadshedding, there seems to be no end in sight to the suffering citizens. Over the past few days with temperatures rising the country has once again been gripped with torturous spells of loadshedding. The loadshedding duration in cities is 8 to 10 hours whereas the situation in villages is a lot worse. Lesco announced a new schedule for power loadshedding, which came into effect on Saturday. According to a spokesperson, the industrial areas would experience nine and a half hours of outages. However, the residential areas covered by such feeders are exempted from outages during Iftar and Sehri hours.
The government for long has claimed that there is no loadshedding for industrial units but the step taken by Lesco as exposed these claims. The textile industry has shown concern over the government’s move to observe almost 10-hour loadshedding in industrial units during Ramazan despite finance minister promise of 24-hour power supply to the industry. They said that notice served to the industry by Lesco, one-day after the budget speech, has warned the industrial units to close their operations from 6:30pm to 4am and in case of violations, the power supply would be disconnected for the whole month of Ramazan.
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association Chairman commenting on the Lesco announcement said Pakistan’s exports had continued to fall for a long time, and the government proposed loadshedding plan for industry would cause further decline in Pakistan’s exports as the exporters would not be able to meet the export deadlines on time. Terming it as another setback for the economy, the PHMA chairman said that without power supply, production activities would come to a halt in industries, thus taking a toll on the national economy.
The situation has become embarrassing for the government who had claimed to end loadshedding within six months of coming into power. However, four years on the country is once again facing the 2012-like situation when the country suffered one of the worst spells of loadshedding and when Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was protesting against the federal government. The Chief Minister is now silent and adverts in major newspapers by the Punjab government claim that all is well on the electricity front.
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