LAHORE: As workers have been protesting the proposed privatisation of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), a senior official has advised the federal government to avoid doing so as the privatisation of the K-electric could not prove to be successful Lesco and Iesco have been included in government’s plan of privatizing several public sector organizations.

“There is silence in federal government circles, as no one from the ministry has neither consulted officials nor sought any information regarding assets or other relevant record from Discos management in this regard,” a senior official told Dawn on Saturday.

“Workers have long been protesting the plan, some senior officials too have opposed the move citing the bitter experience of the K-electric,” the official, who wished not to be named, said.

An official source in federal government said the government’s plan of privatizing these two Discos is yet to be discussed with the power division but the authorities concerned have asked the government to complete its process for introducing reforms in the institution and then decide about its privatization plan.Workers in a gathering in Lahore by the Wapda Hydroelectric Workers Union, Public Services International (PSI) protested the plan. Secretary General Rosa Pavanelli criticised the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for imposing conditions on the developing countries to privatise public entities.

`Since it is the state`s obligation to provide basic needs of energy, water, health and education to the citizens to develop equitable society by eliminating inequalities and ensuring protection of their fundamental rights, such institutions shouldn`t be privatized,” she said while speaking at a national conference.

The minister for power division was not available for comments.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019