Electric Avenue: Sky high bills getting higher

The govt will not tackle line losses or corruption to curb electricity shortage; it will only increase power tariffs.

Omair Zeeshan December 23, 2010

What I pay for electricity of my apartment is almost half the rent itself. There is only one room, with a fan and two tube-lights, other than that I only have a laptop, a toaster, a microwave oven and a 0.75-ton split air-conditioner.

As if the price of electricity is not high enough, donor agencies usually demand that the government address inter-corporate debt which has grown to Rs426 billion.

And no matter how much money the government tries to inject into the system to get it running again, making it sustainable will require huge increases in electricity prices as well as controlling line losses. They would also need to deal with corruption and their own officials helping people use electricity for free.

According to the government’s business plan, they will increase the power tariffs by 16 per cent (2 per cent monthly) which will fetch Rs31 billion till June next year.

This is a part of the government’s three-tier strategy which is being prepared to address power sector issues, envisaging addressing issues like inter-corporate debt (known as circular debt), full recovery of electricity generation cost and future prospects of enhancing the efficiency of power generation and distribution companies.

No matter how I look at the situation, I simply cannot foresee the government doing anything to control its line losses; neither do I see them doing anything to curb corruption. It seems like increasing electricity prices will be the only way to go about dealing with their line losses.

This has been the way to do things up until now. We all know that every government that has come into power has generally increased electricity prices. The price of petrol is becoming an increasingly heavy burden on us as well.

The government is forced to keep on building these normal power plants instead because developed countries are willing to give us pittances to develop renewable energy resources but they are not willing to give us the technology to build nuclear power plants. Though one can hardly blame them given our circumstances.

Omair Zeeshan Corporate Account Manager by day and photographer by night. He can be found on Twitter @OmairZeeshan
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Zaid | 13 years ago | Reply For all WAPDA employees, instead of giving them free electricity which they really abuse, just monetized their salary. You can give them money instead of free electricity, I am sure this will make significant difference for WAPDA employees. Line losses is a social corruption. Many of us doing the same, so we should discourage this at home, street, colony, villages, city, province and at National Level. Its not simple, but still we will see some improvements. Increasing tariff is no solution, because government organizations are not paying the bills as well which increase the circular debt. At the end of day, its common people who has to subsidize it.
naseer hussain | 13 years ago | Reply The whole country is in dooldrum. Wapda steals and blames the thieves. Who are these thieves and who is supposed to stop them? the poor man sleeping on the footpath or the big thief sitting in his cozy palaces scolding the hapless.
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