Pakistan’s population will double in 2050 if growth rate persists, say experts

FAISALABAD   -   Pakistan is ranked fifth in the list of most populous countries and its population growth rate is 2.5 per cent. If this situation persists, the population of Pakistan will double in 2050, which will cause serious problems in resources, food and other issues. This was stated by the experts while addressing a seminar, organised by the Department of Rural Sociology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), in collaboration with the Population Welfare Department. Presiding over the event, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences UAF Dr Babar Shahbaz said that the country was facing serious problems due to increasing population and shrinking resources. China, Japan and India are also countries with large populations but they have made progress by making the population skillful as the skilled manpower is a guarantee of development, he added.

Chairman Rural Sociology Dr. Izhar Ahmad Khan said that the most of malnourished population in the country are women and we should take measures to improve the health of women. Due to increasing population, serious problems are arising, he said and added that in 1951, the population of Pakistan was 35 million which has now exceeded 240 million. CEO Health Dr. Asfandyar said that all possible resources are being provided for public health and best medical facilities and advice to ensure a healthy population. District Population Officer Dr. Tayyaba Azam said that awareness seminars on population control are being conducted continuously among the young generation. Dr. Naima Nawaz informed about the aims and objectives of the seminar while Assistant Commissioner Shahzana, Tariq Latif, Dr. Tayyaba Bashir, Abdul Rahim from TCI and others also spoke on this occasion.

FESCO trying to compensate its consumers for costly electricity: CEO

The Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) is trying its optimum best to compensate its consumers for costly electricity through provision of best services, minimum line losses, uninterrupted power supply and other facilities, said Engineer Muhammad Aamir, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. Addressing industrialists and business community during a meeting at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that FESCO had been mandated to distribute electricity and recover its billing. “In this connection, best practices are being utilised,” he said and added that clear directives have been issued to eliminate the overbilling.

He said that the meter readers were bound to print the actual reading on the meter. He said that holidays for concerned staff, falling on the meter reading dates have been cancelled; however 14,500 consumers suffered due to the Eid holidays on June 17-18. Their bills however are being corrected accordingly, he added. He said that new transformers have been added in the system to provide uninterrupted electricity while faulty transformers are also being replaced on top priority basis.

He said that earlier, only 6,000 D-rods were purchased while this year 17,000 rods have been arranged to immediately restore the electricity. FESCO has an acute shortage of staff and we are trying to reduce its impact by outsourcing different services, he added. Responding to a question, the CEO said that the consumers getting sizable bills on the basis of minimum load must reduce their load according to their actual usages. He clarified that determination of electricity tariff and other related issues did not fall within his ambit and hence he is unable to comment on it. The Prime Minister has announced reduction in electricity tariff for industrialists and relief under this directive would be passed on to them as soon as notification was issued, he added.

He said that the industrial sector has used 380 million less units which has complicated the issues relating to capacity payment. The unplanned solarization has further aggravated this situation. The unbridled solarization has also damaged our transformers as they could intake only 30% of solar energy, he added.

About quarterly adjustments and fuel cost adjustment, he said its related issues would be automatically resolved when the base rate was corrected.

Earlier. President FCCI Dr Khurram Tariq welcomed the CEO and said that the immediate and most ticklish problem being confronted by every individual today is the costly electricity. When WAPDA was unbundled, it was divided into generation, WAPDA, National Transmission and Dispatch Company and Discos. “The role of Discos is to distribute electricity and recover its billing only”, he said and added that the people are switching over to solar energy to minimize their dependence on costly electricity.

About less use of electricity by the industrial sector, he said that in addition to solarization, the closure of industry is yet another cause that has added fuel to fire. The government must be aware of the social, financial and economic impact of costly electricity and take necessary measures to facilitate the masses, he demanded.

He said that FCCI always projected FESCO as the best distribution company because of its minimum line losses and maximum recoveries.

He said that consumers are ready to pay the actual cost of electricity but why do they pay line losses and theft of electricity in other parts of the country.

Vice President FCCI Hajji Muhammad Aslam Bhalli, Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz, Muzamil Sultan, Mian Abdul Waheed, Shafique Hussain Shah, Sanallah Niazi, Sohail Butt, Hajji Muhammad Abid, Chaudhary Talat Mahmood, Aamir Nisar, Mian Imtaiz Ali, Ayub Aslam Manj, Aamir Rana, Mian Muhammad Tayyab, Haleem Akhtar Malik, Dr Najma Afzal, Shahid Mumtaz Bajwa and Muhammad Yaseen took part in the question-answer session.

Later, Senior Vice President FCCI Dr Sajjad Arshad offered a vote of thanks while President Dr Khurram Tariq presented FCCI shield to FESCO Chief Engineer Muhammad Aamir.