Participants at a seminar listed bad governance, mismanagement, inept decision-making and an incompetent workforce as the main causes for worsening of the power crisis.
The discussion titled “Power Sector Reforms: Current Situation, Future Outlook and Road to Sustainability” was held at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Wednesday, said a press release.
The speakers also criticised the way with which the government has dealt with rental power projects (RPPs) and said that mismanagment has scared away power sector investors.
“Giving permissions to furnace oil-based RPPs to operate was itself a major flaw as they would take around two years to start operations,” said Abdul Rahim Khan, a former member of Nepra. “The fast-track policy for the rental plants was suitable only for gas-operated units” he added.
Unfortunately, Khan said, the respective governments have been using electricity as a political tool and not much has been done to eradicate the root causes of distortions in this sector.
“In 1994, the average cost of installing one MW capacity was $1 million in Pakistan, whereas it was around $300,000 in Bangladesh,” said former General Manager National Transmission and Distribution Centre Salahuddin Rifai.
Referring to USAID’s programme for improving the capacity of Wapda’s generation plants, he said even after more than two years the central bank and the finance ministry have not given formal permission to open foreign currency accounts due to which the much needed aid has not been received.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2012.