Poverty reduction linked to enhanced electricity generation: Shahid Rasheed Butt

Islamabad, May 01, 2016 (PPI-OT):Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday called for renewed efforts to generate electricity which is tied to economic revival and poverty reduction. Government is seriously perusing agenda to overcome energy crisis but the pace of work on critical power generation projects should be increased, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that government must promote private investments in the energy sector by introducing better regulations otherwise efforts to reduce poverty will remain counterproductive. Access to energy is imperative to transform lives as majority of Pakistanis as well as a third of the world’s population has no access to modern energy services, he said.

He said that tens of millions in Pakistanis and 1.3 billion people worldwide are still without any form of electricity and 2.7 billion people still cook over open fires despite availability of solutions. Estimates say in the next sixteen years three billion will cook with traditional fuels, more than 30 million people will die due to smoke-related diseases and hundreds of millions will be confined to poverty due to lack of energy, he informed.

On average 70 per cent are women who spend significant time and money to obtain energy that is not only unpredictable, expensive, unsafe, and highly polluting, he said. The veteran business leader said that lack of access to electricity also prevents the development of key social programmes like education, health, sanitation and provision of clean drinking water, continuing a cycle of poverty that is very difficult to break.

He said that energy is vital to escape poverty but unfortunately lack of interest by policymakers has left a third of the world’s population with no access to modern energy services. A dollar invested in a solar energy generates more than $46 in economic benefits in the first year alone, he underlined. He said that energy enables people to work their way out of poverty, it provides better access to basic services while improving health and wellbeing of everyone, especially that of women and children.

For more information, contact:
Jahangir Akhtar
Secretary General
Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry
Office No, 9 Block E, Super Market, Islamabad
Cell: 0344-5111174