‘Holding back energy reforms can bankrupt country’

KARACHI: The Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) on Wednesday said that the delay in critical reforms in the energy sector has the potential to bankrupt the country.

The official power sector losses, which are Rs 320 billion, are over half the amount allocated in the federal developmental budget while independent experts view losses at Rs 370 billion, it said.

The circular debt is at Rs 661 billion while theft and wastage has increased from 18.6% to 18.7%, said All Karachi Industrial Alliance President and FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel First Vice Chairman Mian Zahid Hussain.

He said that Nepra has allowed power distribution companies to recover 15.2% losses from consumers who were earlier paying 13.1% of the total losses. Hussain said that sale of Discos might have improved the situation, which has been delayed by nine months. Some bureaucrats in the gas utilities are failing LNG project, he said, adding that the agreement for import of gas has also been delayed by nine months.

“The government is supposed to pay around Rs 30 million as terminal charges per day, which are not being utilised. Therefore, the authorities should accept their inability and allow private sector to import gas,” he added.

He said that pipelines have the capacity of transport imported gas which is not being used, otherwise the gas companies can generate extra revenue, adding that continued supply of LNG can give new lease of lift to fertiliser, textile, CNG and general industry.


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