One of the biggest challenges Pakistan is facing is the energy crisis. The surge in electricity demand over the years led to power shortages, and the lack of hydro and thermal power plants exacerbated the energy crisis in the country. Recently, the government announced the National Energy Savings Plan. It includes closing shops early to reduce working hours and consume less energy. The plan is directly impacting private business owners. It also restricts the demand for goods, whereas the focus should be on removing the impediments to supply. Most power plants in Pakistan run on imported fuel, and due to the global rise in prices, oil and gas have become expensive and unaffordable. Hence, it has become important to consume energy resources efficiently and carefully.
Pakistan’s energy needs are ever-increasing, and artificially managing them with temporary solutions will only cause adverse economic impacts. In Pakistan, the commercial culture is centred around shopping, and most people visit markets during the evening. Changing this practice and closing down shops at early hours will reduce the businesses of shop owners and traders. In an economy with high inflation, small shop owners may not sustain themselves if their income declines. Keeping the economic activities running is important to increase production and revenue. Clamping down commercial activities will have adverse impacts on the population as well as the market. However, the plan to shift all government buildings to renewable energy resources such as solar panels will be beneficial in conserving energy.
To solve the energy crisis, the government should focus on producing more energy supply and using resources efficiently rather than cutting off and conserving energy. Pakistan can be completely self-sufficient with domestically produced energy because importing energy resources now is much more expensive than before. Investments must be made in developing power plants. Moreover, renewable energy resources must also be promoted and produced domestically to mitigate the adverse impacts of the energy crisis. Reducing working hours and closing down markets early may be a temporary solution, and government must invest towards a sustainable energy future to provide for future generations and a stronger economy. The patterns and routines of businesses, institutions and workplaces must be considered before making such policies. Effective implementation of policies can only be done when the population is on board and if the guidelines are beneficial in the long run.