Dawn News

POWER crisis

The people continue to suffer long blackouts and the cash-strapped government keeps on bleeding in spite of paying a hefty Rs1.2tr in energy subsidies and almost doubling the price of electricity in the last four years. When it took power in 2008, the PPP-led coalition pledged to revamp the power sector and end electricity shortages. Since, it has raised electricity price by more than 85 per cent to eliminate subsidies but failed to implement reforms to make the power sector efficient. Hence it has failed to reduce leave alone eliminate production, transmission and distribution losses; check electricity theft and recover the bills. Nor has it been able to invest enough money or attract private investment in new generation. Instead, the inconsistent energy policies have created a hefty inter-corporate debt, commonly known as circular debt. This special report explains some of these problems in detail to explain why we have been and will continue to face long hours without electricity in our homes and our industries. The next part of this special report, which will appear tomorrow will discuss some possible solutions.

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