Reduce fuel and electricity consumption - Business Recorder

Reduce fuel and electricity consumption – Business Recorder

EDIT: It is high time the government seriously consider reducing working days and other ways of energy rationing as well because unless some ready-made arrangements are implemented very urgently to cut energy and oil consumption, the economy will simply collapse.

It turns out that the Electricity Department recommended to the new government cutting working days immediately after taking the oath.

But the Prime Minister was planning to introduce the famous ‘Shahbaz Speed’, which worked very well during his long year as the Chief Minister of Punjab, to the federal government as well and instead increased the official working week by one day and even demanded that government employees show early to work .

This would have been feasible had the government had the political will to bite the bullet and remove the controversial subsidy, allow prices to rise and eventually help the rupee and current account regain some lost ground.

However, he was very insecure about how long he would be allowed in office to start burning his political capital for the greater good soon. The only practical way to lower your energy bill at the moment is engineering demand destruction; Or at least a lot of reduction.

SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) has prepared estimates based on three different scenarios to reduce working days, which are expected to save anywhere from $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion each year. One offer has four business days and three holidays, during which retail business remains open.

The second has four working days, two holidays and one closed day. The third has four working days, one holiday and two days of closing. The third option is rightly considered somewhat aggressive, so there is a good chance that one of the first two options will be accepted as official policy in the near term.

The checking account doesn’t have much to celebrate though exports and remittances smashed records last April; The first stays above $3 billion for the second month in a row, and the second rises above $3 billion in a month for the first time. Already the oil import bill for the 10 months of the current fiscal year (July-April), at $17 billion, is 96 percent higher than the same period last year.

With no more aid until the IMF program is in limbo, the international commodity cycle still running, and political uncertainty frightening financial markets and driving away foreign investment, the position of reserves is in grave danger.

Usually, such situations require more people to spend more hours of work each day to push the economy forward. But in our particular case, when cutting spending on oil is of paramount importance, the exact opposite must be done.

And they will have to do more than just reduce work days to make this energy conservation strategy effective. They will also have to adjust their daily working hours, especially for retail outlets, to get most work done during daylight hours. It would also be a good idea to reduce the number of public functions, as well as the number of people allowed.

All this is not at all desirable, but very important. However, even if this strategy is adopted and followed literally, it will save very little elbow room. The government has yet to implement reforms that will have a structural improvement to show all the pain that everyone has to go through because of it.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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