Published Date: Oct 20, 2011
ENERGY SECTOR NEEDS REFORMS
Serious overhauling and reforms were needed in the energy sector of the country, failing which, the rising circular debt which was increasing by around Rs1 billion per day would render the country bankrupt, the speakers said.
Speaking at special seminar on `The crisis in Pakistan`s energy sector` organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here Thursday, the experts said that there was a need to control line losses, rationalise energy tariffs, establish a single coordinating agency for energy development in Pakistan, whereas appointing competent professional CEO`s and private management for public sector energy enterprises was essential to improve their efficiency.
Shahid Sattar, Planning Commission (PC) Member Energy, cited the crisis of efficiency, fuel, finance, financial discipline and governance as the major cause of today`s power crisis in Pakistan.
He highlighted that there was no central coordinating agency dealing with energy sector as a whole in Pakistan.
“Nepra (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) is misunderstood of being a tariff determining and implementing body but its only mandate is to regulate the power sector with thrust on setting directions for sustainable development of energy sector in Pakistan,” member energy PC said.
He stressed to focus on improving efficiency in the electricity distribution system where line losses at national level were estimated at 22-23 per cent line theft whereas 12 per cent technical losses.
Talking of circular debt, he said that currently circular debt stood at around Rs301 billion and it was increasing at the rate of Rs1 billion per day.
“The circular debt is causing 3 to 4 percent loss of GDP annually,” Sattar said, which was apart from the 10 percent workforce that had been laid off or under employed along with incalculable loss of fresh investment in the sector due to perpetuating load-shedding.