PML-Q president Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain proposed on Monday that provincial government forgo their share of the divisible pool for three months to enable the federal government to pay the independent power producers so that loadshedding could be brought down to a tolerable level.
While speaking with reporters, Hussain said the installed power generation capacity in the country was 23,000 megawatt out of which only 15,000MW was being generated daily. He said the remaining power plants were either closed or were producing less than what they were capable of.
Hussain said that under the NFC Award, the provinces would be paid Rs50 billion over the remaining three months of the current financial year. He said if the Centre kept uses the amount for the remaining three months to pay power producers then load shedding would be eliminated in cities and its duration considerably reduced in rural areas. He said if provincial governments cooperate with the federal government then the issue could easily be solved.
Hussain said the success of the formula depended on the chief ministers. If they agreed, he said, mills would start operating again, unemployment would be reduced, protesting workers would return to work and the national economy would start growing.
Hussain also recommended a full-fledged campaign against power thefts so that honest consumers should not have to pay for it. He added that this would go a long way in improving the national economy.
Later on Hussain clarified that the provinces did not necessarily need to forgo their share, rather they could give the federal government a loan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.