India offers Pakistan electricity to curb load-shedding

Published: April 20, 2011

The issue of power shortage will be further discussed in meetings between the commerce secretaries on April 27. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: India offered cheap electricity to Pakistan on Wednesday to help overcome the lingering load-shedding problem.

While briefing the media after the Public Accounts Committtee meeting in Islamabad, Secretary of Commerce Zafar Mahmood disclosed that Pakistan is seriously considering the Indian offer.

He further said that the issue of power shortage would also come under discussion in the meeting between the commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan on April 27 and April 28.

Pakistan still has several reservations to give India the most favoured nation status.

Reader Comments (36)

  • Blunt!
    Apr 20, 2011 - 6:33PM

    India has always been very central to Pakistan’s interests, deep down it knows India is the most favoured nation for Pakistan still it doesn’t recognise it officially. Recommend

  • John
    Apr 20, 2011 - 7:33PM

    This suggestion came in my comments a few weeks back.

    I am sure it will be an anti- PAK rhetoric in India, and PAK pride issue in seeking anything India in PAK as well.

    But the proximity of the borders and grid is more suited for this, although India herself is short of electricity but the grid is not adequate to handle the overflow further downstream. So PAK can be a potential importer of overflow electricity.

    This has a potential for lot of joint future hydroelectric projects where the geography is more suited in India side, in the model of Niagara Electricity system between US and Canada.

    PAK side would hate to think that India holds the switch, but does pride and prejudice get anyone anywhere?

    One day PAK would be selling her electricity to India. Recommend

  • wahab
    Apr 20, 2011 - 7:33PM

    Good take it..take the offerRecommend

  • Ravi
    Apr 20, 2011 - 7:56PM

    Hell………..
    are we overflowing with electricity…………??????
    India is a country where industrial production is hampered by 9% due to blackout as per planning commission of india……
    On the other hand in china only 3% industrial production is hampered due to blackouts…….
    This is 11th five year plan and as usual we are going to miss the target of installing 78,000 MW of electricty generation.
    Where do we have surpluses by the way????
    Peak hour blackouts are close to 4-10 hours in most places in india………
    But no worries for our nut case PM………Recommend

  • Paras Vikmani
    Apr 20, 2011 - 8:05PM

    we r ourself facing problems
    but the article has not given full information
    no indian newspapers have given any news on itRecommend

  • Apr 20, 2011 - 8:09PM

    In the 1990′s, Nawaz Sharif’s government offered electricity to India, which said it would buy it at 2 cents per unit (although the production cost was 6.50 cents per unit-from a thermal power plant in Karachi). Now Pakistan has the chance to tell India it will pay 2 cents a unit (India produces electricity at 1.50 cents per unit from coal-fired plants).Recommend

  • Faraz
    Apr 20, 2011 - 8:15PM

    No thanks. Recommend

  • John
    Apr 20, 2011 - 8:33PM

    @Ravi:
    It is the grid, grid, grid, buddy. Off peak overflow is what we are talking about here. India consistently has electricity shortage since 1970s and her energy demands and electricity production is on the rise and yet the shortage hovers around nearly about the same level. If my understanding is correct India is updating her grid to route the excess to peak demand area.

    One can not move excess electricity in, say Punjab to a factory 1000 KM away and it would be more productive to put that in PAK grid rather than wasting it.

    Same grid issues in US also. Can not move solar energy electricity in Arizona to NY or Florida. So let us be scientific in our arguments.

    Others please add details. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 20, 2011 - 8:41PM

    There is a ready source of natural gas that we can purchase from Iran.
    However we are too lazy/corrupt/inept to feed ourselves and thus require hand outs from the west.
    US will never let us buy Iranian gas, they are the stooges of Israel and are trying to destroy Iran.
    So we have a choice.
    Work hard etc and feed ourselves, stop living of international aid or accept the dictats of people who really are our enemies. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Apr 20, 2011 - 8:54PM

    This will not happen. As soon as this becomes big news in India, the people will start asking questions about how the Government is planning to sell electricity when some states dont have much of it?

    Not practical.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Apr 20, 2011 - 9:03PM

    I am of the opinion, anything good you do to Pakistan, will be reciprocated by a bad deed and will be punished.
    So , my advise to India, stay away from doing busines with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amer
    Apr 20, 2011 - 9:43PM

    This is a good idea but would never ever become a reality because of the dirty politics on both sides. Recommend

  • Apr 20, 2011 - 10:04PM

    @Anoop:
    This article is about offering help on load-shedding & not about selling the electricity to Pakistan. AP electricity board successfully implemented new measures to curb the load shedding to a great extent. It includes theft & loss of transmissions from power grids to the final user.Recommend

  • A R Khan, Wisconsin
    Apr 20, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Excellent move by India. Starting long term trade between the two neighbours is the only solution. Economic integration should be encouraged and promoted by the governments. I would strongly recommend Pakistani govt. to take this offer. It is economic integration that will bring Peace and Friendship in the long-term. Recommend

  • sundar
    Apr 20, 2011 - 11:43PM

    @John:
    You are one heck of a hard core optimist, aren’t you? I want to agree with you but put off with the attitude of the Pakistani establishment. I am all for cross border trade but othet side seems to be more interested in cross border terrorism and ‘strategic depth’ which is taking their country in a very slippery slope. How long and how far we can go with an olive branch?Recommend

  • Suresh
    Apr 20, 2011 - 11:53PM

    India is facing huge energy crisis. It itself is paying large subsidies for alternative, non conventional energy sources, just to tap every available KW of electricity. Under the circumstances export of electricity to Pakistan is a crime. Morover, the Pakistani crisis is mainly due to corruption, mismanagement, theft, lack of political will for reform etc, rather than a “real” natural crisis like shortage of food grains/vegetables due to drought, crop failure etc which can be considered as humanitarian.Recommend

  • macro
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:06AM

    Fine by me, will you accept onions in return?Recommend

  • arman
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:20AM

    We will close down all party and manmohan singh can beg for his life if supply electricity at cost of our own development!!

    We hardly have electricity in india!!not enough for industry ,forget consumers!!

    Its better to shut the mouth and talk sense!!Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:09AM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    The Indians don’t really have to offer this deal!!! Wake up mate, do you really think the Indians give a toss? The present congress govt in india is bit soft with their foreign policy, hence this offer!! So don’t get too excited and place your demands!!
    A Nation which is renowned for its ability for Begging, on circuit around the world for Aid and Loans is hardly in position to demand!!!!!
    Any way i don’t recall this 1990′s situation you mentioned as i recall, that friends of mine in Karachi had diesel generators in event of power failures in those days!!! Its become lot worse today from what i hear, perhaps you are in very unique situation not to have realised this, in todays Pakistan.
    Your nation’s Finance team has returned empty handed from their meetings with IMF !!!! Hope you know what that means for aam aadmi in streets of Lahore, Karachi, Pindi etc…………….
    Times are going to get tougher for the country and its people!! So i suggest you stop making ridiculas comments !!!Recommend

  • Cosmo
    Apr 21, 2011 - 6:27AM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    Well, as they say in case of Pakistan, beggars cant cant choose !!So my advice, take it and get “enlightened” or keep living in dark. Recommend

  • New Delhi_India
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:08AM

    @Ravi:

    I think next time we should vote for your favourite Mandir-Masjid chaap party., I m sure in the next five year plan they will make many more Mandirs in India in place of power plants. Kasam Ram ki Khaten hain, Mandir wahin banayenge, now tell me who is the nut case.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:19AM

    What a shame for a country like pakistan which has 4500 MW excess installed capacity than its demand…Recommend

  • Gautam
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:32AM

    I agree with @Babloo “… anything good you do to Pakistan, will be reciprocated by a bad deed and will be punished … “. But am reminded the story of a Saint and a Scorpion … The Saint is taking a bath in the river when he sees a scorpion drowning in water. He picks it up to help it. The scorpion, as its nature, stings the saint and falls out of his hands into the water. Again as it starts drowning, the Saint picks it up and recieves a sting. This goes on for a few times … An onlooker asked the Saint why he doesn’t understand the nature of the ignorant Scorpion and let it suffer its own fate …

    The Saint replied “If the ignorant Scorpion will not change its bad nature, why I should change my good nature?”

    Kudos India on making the offer. We hope good sense prevails.Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:52PM

    @Gautam:

    good!Recommend

  • saad
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:16PM

    we should not buy electricity from india, after supplying for few years they will justify building more dams on our rivers in kasmir for this electricity. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 21, 2011 - 5:06PM

    We should take it…

    @Saad

    India hasn’t broken the Indus water treaty,WE have mismanaged the water coming into Pakistan so please stop repeating useless govt propaganda… use your brain please, if they use water for hydro elec the water still ends up coming to Pakistan, they are not storing it as they are not allowed to… Recommend

  • arman
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:40AM

    It was a fake news!!

    India has shortage of 30% electricity!!

    30% of villages dont have a bit of electricity!!

    and others hardly get electricity in summerRecommend

  • Apr 22, 2011 - 3:37PM

    It’s India which is the beggar, bending over backwards to appease the U.S. for nuclear plants and not agreeing to buy gas from Iran. But what else can you expect from a country in which more than 70% of the people live on less than half a dollar a day? For confirmation of this, please visit http://www.hinduonnet.com/2007/08/15/stories/2007081554611300.htmRecommend

  • indian
    Apr 22, 2011 - 4:43PM

    @shakir every one knows which country has begging bowl in both the hand.it has broken all records of begging:-)it cant survive without imf aid.america came to give india nuclear deal.it knows importance of india in future global context.you should first think about your bankrupt country.india added 75000mega watt in5years 5times electricity you produce now.india does need nuclear energy which is feasible and pollution free.india decreases poverty1%yearly.Recommend

  • Apr 22, 2011 - 11:04PM

    America wants to give nuclear reactors to India because it wants to revive its own nuclear industry, not because it considers India an important global player. It will be many, many years for India to catch up to China, which produces five times more electricity than India. And Pakistan, which has one-seventh the population of India, produces 80 billion units every year, while India produces 568 billion units. The ‘shining India” which is projected to the world is actually the India of people like the Ambanis and the semi-naked Indian film actresses. The world is not fooled, however. A recent survey found that Indians are much more unhappy than people in most other countries. No wonder so many Indians commit suicide or try to emigrate to other countries.Recommend

  • india
    Apr 23, 2011 - 3:25AM

    @shakir

    Business is always mutual!!Hydel,coal are not going to last long!!

    And india will continue to produce 90% energy from traditional sources.Nuclear fuel form NSG members help us make those nuclear bombs which we coudnt because of sharing of uranium with civil nuclear energy reactors!!

    dont worry,india grew 10.4% in gdp,calculating using chinese model of gdp calculation!!

    china has peaked and india will grow faster than china for 2 decades!!

    Pakistan produced 15000-16000 MW and its production is below the total capacity of 17000 Mw!

    on the other india produces 190000 MW and its capacity increases 150000 MW yearly!!

    You are still living in your old ages!India is growing and we will become 3rd largest country by GDP(6 billion dollar by 2020) only behind america and china!!

    None of us are ready to die for any religion to taste 72 virgins!!

    we are not perfect but our civil society is rising and with control over corruption,we will be easily able to grow 10% yearly for decades with an inclusive growth of all its poor!!Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2011 - 11:36AM

    It seems that most Indians are in a state of denial, ignoring the fact that 836 million Indians are struggling to survive on Rs. 20 (half a dollar) a day. The Maoist insurgency is not going to just end without a bitter fight, bleeding India dry. I don’t see India progressing at all (in real terns) for the next 20 years, unless it gives up J&K, and the other areas in the northeast which are fighting for freedom from Indian tyranny.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Apr 23, 2011 - 12:35PM

    @Shakir,

    “I don’t see India progressing at all (in real terns) for the next 20 years, ”

    –> Buddy, I guess you are reading your Urdu Newspapers a lot lately.

    Here is what the experts think.

    http://business.rediff.com/report/2010/jun/23/india-poverty-rate-may-fall-to-24-percent-by-2015.htm

    Poverty rate in India has been falling rapidly for the past 20 years and India is already the fastest growing economy in the World, finally beating the likes of China!

    Pakistan meanwhile is growing at 2.5%, not even 1/3rd of India’s growth rate, barely managing to outgrow its population growth. Poverty rate, infact, as a result, is increasing in Pakistan.

    Stop reading Urdu Newspapers. They make people dumber, I guess in your case they have succeeded. Hope its not too late.Recommend

  • india
    Apr 23, 2011 - 1:03PM

    @shakir lakhani

    You are over estimating the naxal problem!!

    There has been no big attack by naxal since green hunt has started!!
    CRPF has pushed them all to a mere 1000 SQ KM forest which is surrounded by CRPF from all sides!!

    They have been thrown out from all villages and they dont have people support (coz they are all criminals who loot the poor money and deprive them of development)

    We and developing those tribals forests and districts !!

    Kashmir has nothing to do with india growth!!we have 2lak army presence in kashmir border and thousands CRPF in civil areas and but we are not bledding like pakistan!!

    Kashmir issue has made pakistan bankrupt!!

    Keep reciting the same mantra and we will only see new yugoslavia in pakistan Recommend

  • Cherish Raj
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:03PM

    @Shakir Lakhani:

    Please enroll for ECON 101.Recommend

  • rk singh
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:21PM

    @ Shakir Lakhani

    SOUR GRAPES. India is galloping away fast. In another 20 years it can even overtake china economically. Of course, there are problems, but they are small. J&K people has several referendums before and they all refused to be part of Pakistan. They prefered to stay with India. I dont see them waling over to Pakistan in near future.Recommend

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