Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce Gohar Ejaz has stated that there is no need to implement early shop closures because the government currently has an excess of electricity. He emphasized that prematurely shutting down businesses across the country would negatively impact them.
Ejaz mentioned that input and feedback have been requested from all chambers of commerce throughout the nation within a 30-day timeframe. He also announced plans for a substantial operation against those involved in electricity theft, followed by a crackdown on gas theft.
The minister stressed that individuals implicated in gas theft would not be granted release, noting that there is a shortage of gas in the country and urging traders to cooperate rather than resist.
Additionally, Ejaz shared that Pakistan intends to host a conference featuring 100 prominent international brands, which will be accorded official guest status along with state guests. He mentioned that the current real exchange rate of the dollar in the country stands at 260 rupees.
Ejaz disclosed that Sindh and Punjab have been encouraged to procure electricity directly from Thar and would be exempted from taxes on such purchases. The electricity from Thar would be billed at the prevailing regional rates, and a new electricity policy tailored for industries is in the works.
Furthermore, the minister expressed concern about Pakistan’s exports, emphasizing that aside from textiles, they amount to only five billion dollars. He noted that smuggling from Afghanistan and Iran has increased to the tune of five billion dollars. Ejaz also claimed that all dollars are being funneled out of the open market through exchange companies.