Pakistan government led by Shehbaz Sharif is considering the idea of reducing working days per week to save from $1.5 billion upto $2.7 billion on fuel by reducing fuel and energy consumption according to State Bank of Pakistan figures.
Currently government is considering 4 days work from office while 1 day work from home to counter the energy shortages. Pakistan is facing energy shortages and now working to counter the issue on immediate basis.
Pakistan’s total oil imports for the first ten months of the current fiscal year (FY22) surpassed $17 billion, a staggering 96 percent increase over the same period last fiscal year. This includes $8.5 billion in petroleum products and $4.2 billion in petroleum crude, representing a 121 percent and 75 percent increase, respectively.
This increase is not simply due to an increase in international prices but also the import volumes of petroleum products. The import volumes has already climbed by 24 percent and 1.36 percent, respectively.
Government is currently considering 3 scenarios to handle the energy shortage issue. The focus is to reduce working days to give a break to industry that will reduce the consumption of energy.
Lockdowns are also under consideration to shutdown every industry and market to reduce the energy usage and reduce load-shedding. The different scenarios under consideration are:
Scenario 1 (4 working day, 3 holidays)
The average POL savings in the first example, based on four working days and three holidays when retail is open like a weekend, is anticipated to be $122 million per month or $1.5 billion per year according to State Bank of Pakistan. It should be remembered that 90% of oil usage is anticipated for working days and 10% for monthly vacations.
Scenario 1 (4 working day, 2 holidays, 1 day lock down)
The savings in the form of lower oil imports are projected at $175 million per month or $2.1 billion per year in the second example, based on four working days, two holidays, and one day of lockdown (retail to remain closed for one day).
Scenario 2 (4 working day from office, 1 day work from home)
The savings in the form of lower oil imports are projected at $175 million per month or $2.1 billion per year in the second example, based on four working days from office while 1 day work from home.
Scenario 3(4 working days, 1 holiday, 2 days lockdown)
The POL save in import cost in the third scenario based on four working days, one holiday, and two days of lockdown (commercial activity to be shut down for two days) may be roughly $230 million, or $2.7 billion. However, this case is deemed excessively harsh since it may harm public trust.
Officials claimed the Power Division recommended the new government shortly after it took office to restrict working days and confine commercial activity to daylight hours, as well as initiate a national energy conservation push across all energy consumption sectors, saving more than 5000MW of electricity.
Surprisingly, the power shortage is currently between 5000 and 7000MW, resulting in up to three hours of loadshedding in key cities.