KESC, killing the economy slowly
Being a monopolistic utility provider, there lies great responsibility on the management of KESC to provide fair and professional services to its consumers.
Normally, in the developed world there is more than one utility supplier of the same service, which gives the consumers a chance to select from the packages which best suit their needs, and also keeps the competition healthy giving a constant drive for service improvement amongst the providers.
Karachi is at the mercy of KESC, which is a privatised utility unit and a business that is so profitable, that in spite of the losses they claim to bear, they end up making huge profits by the end of the year. NEPRA, the supposed regulatory authority, is not doing anything for the protection of consumer interest and is constantly legitimising the requests for an increase in tariff from KESC to be levied on Karachiites on various grounds and reasons.
It is strange that despite the mandatory loadshedding, our bills do not reflect any relief. Rather, we end up paying more than before because KESC somehow gets an approval from NEPRA for adding something on to the prevailing rates, and it does not appear to stop.
As a result the cost of production for our industries, if compared to last year is up by 50 per cent to say the least. Already, many export businesses have been damaged because they are unable to compete in the international market because Pakistani products are expensive when contrasted with global competition. India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are able to offer the same goods at cheaper prices compared to what our end product comes out to be. This impact is set to reflect our economic conditions and balance of payments at the end of the fiscal years to come.
Such a move by the management of KESC/NEPRA is slowly bringing the country to its knees, completely damaging its inward flow of foreign exchange, and no matter how many times this point is stated, it does not seem to reach them.
Maybe it is time our courts intervene and get this matter sorted out, even if it is a private business. There is a limit to the blatant and daring advertisements by KESC where they claim “They Steal You Pay” while the company itself is able to get away with charging regular paying consumers for the losses KESC faces on top of the regular hike in tariffs.
Syed Ali Raza Abidi is a businessman interested in politics and loves Pakistan. He actively tweets @abidifactor