Circular debt

September 23, 2019

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AT last the government has formed a committee to find out the causes of the enormous power circular debt amounting to over one trillion rupees. The debt has been rising enormously without any action by the power ministry to find ways and means to arrest it.

Surprisingly, it took the government 12 months to constitute a committee to look into the matter and to identify the causes, fix responsibility and suggest measures to get rid of this enormous economic national plague.

The committee has also been tasked to propose steps to have affordable power so necessary for development and for relief to the consumers.

While the terms and conditions set forth for the proposed committee appear good on paper, it cannot be said to act effectively and impartially to arrive at right decisions.

All the committee members are drawn from the government/corporate organisations who are blamed for creating directly or indirectly the massive circular debt mess the country faces.

It would be in the best interest of the country if members of the research and facts-finding committee are drawn from the relevant private sector organisations or individuals possessing requisite expertise to eliminate chances of favour and protection to involved government, semi-government departments, groups or individuals.

We have wasted enough time indulging in a blame game. The cleansing process should start to get rid of the corrupt and the inefficient. Many heads should roll or shown the door, whether they belong to past regimes or to the present one.

A period of three to four months for the committee could be curtailed in view of urgency of the subject. The above should not be limited to the power sector alone.

The process needs to be fair and transparent.

Engr Riaz Bhutta

Lahore

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2019