Power generation be handed over to private sector

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Friday said power generation and distribution network should be handed over to private sector.Government has failed to address acute energy problem which has made lives of common people and business community miserable and put brakes on the growth, it said.Rulers prefer to bury their heads in sand by ordering ad-hoc measures; bureaucracy seems to be more interested in barring investment in energy sector while the ministries concerned are too much focused on rental power which has proved useless, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.Power ministers of the current regime have been promising since years to overcome loadshedding; these claims were never taken seriously owing to government’s lack of commitment, he said.Similarly, top government officials frequently announced that few hundred megawatts have been added to the system but how was that materialised is never disclosed, he added.Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that government has failed to implement decision to close markets in peak hours to save energy.

He said that international donors as well as investors are not ready to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector while departments concerned are not ready to facilitate Chinese investment which is unfortunate, he said.He said that plans to build mega hydro power projects, import gas and electricity from Iran, Middle East and Central Asia could not be materialised while Thar coal reserves are waiting for exploitation.

Successes of the government on energy front are only visible in official record and newspapers while there is nothing on the ground, he said. In this scenario, he said, government can consider handing over power generation and distribution system to private sector in stages. There is no dearth of capable, honest and dedicated individuals in Pakistan’s private sector who will try best to serve nation, he said. – Nation