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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.


The Nation

Published Date: Feb 18, 2021

Privatisation will save Pakistan’s power sector, says Miftah Ismail

KARACHI-Former finance minister Miftah Ismail has said the power sector in Pakistan should move towards the privatisation in order to solve its long-standing issues. Ismail said this during a webinar titled: “Pakistan’s Power Policies—Ensuring Access and Affordability” on Wednesday. When asked if it would be difficult to do so, the former finance minister said it was a challenge but needed to be done nonetheless. He highlighted how there has been a governance failure for the past 30 years or so in Pakistan. “We keep repeating the same things and hoping for better results but it won’t happen. So I believe we should move towards a multiple buyer and multiple seller system,” he said.

He pointed out that in 2014-15, PEMRA estimated the cost of installation of a gas plant at $700,000. “However, when we [the previous government] opened it up for bidding, the real figure came to around $550,000,” he said. Ismail spoke about how the government was incapable of handling problems of the power sector, saying that 12% of the electricity consumers in Pakistan were not even paying their bills and then the tribal areas had their own set of problems when it came to power accessibility. Executive Director Aptma and former Member Energy at the Planning Commission, Shahid Sattar referred to the Competitive Trading Bilateral Contracts Market (CTBCM) initiative as a ‘façade’, saying that it will never encourage competition as it doesn’t have answers to improve power generation.

He slammed the revenue-based loadshedding model as well, which entails more loadshedding in areas where less revenues are collected from. “I believe that is against the very spirit of the constitution,” he said, adding that the government must work and bring about measures to recover money rather than resort to loadshedding in areas where predominantly poor people lived. “You should install prepaid meters and any subsidies you give must be passed on to the consumer similar to the Benazir Income Support Programme system,” he said, adding that there is no other way than to solve the power problems of the country. He said that Pakistan’s products were no longer globally competitive, adding that the country’s exports were suffering and as a result, Pakistan’s “growth engine” was also stagnant.

Sattar also said that the government should “get out of” the power sector, adding that it is running a ‘façade’ when it creates boards in power institutions and falsely claims it is empowering them to make their own decisions. “Take a look at Pepco or any other power institution, they are completely controlled by the government,” he said. Sattar said that the government has, on more than one occasion, proven that it does not have the capability to deal with the intricacies of the power sector. “And as far as the CTBCM is concerned, it does not provide a solution to affordability or availability,” he said.

Saadia Qayyum, Energy Specialist at the World Bank, said that Pakistan’s coal plants were quite expensive compared to India which made affordability an issue. She said that the overreaching influence of the government and the ministry was creating problems for institutions such as NEPRA. “We need to strengthen NEPRA’s capability,” she said, adding that at times governments do not notify PEMRA’s changes in tariffs due to political and other reasons. Shahid Sattar said that NEPRA and OGRA have been unable to solve the country’s power and energy issues, adding that ever since NEPRA has been formed, Pakistan’s circular debt has worsened whereas OGRA never came up with measures that solved our energy crisis. “People say the power sector is a ticking time bomb,” said Shahid Sattar. “It isn’t. It is a ticking atom bomb,” he added.