KARACHI: K-Electric is receiving cheap gas, low-cost electricity from the national grid, subsidies and loans worth Rs130 billion but it has failed to deliver, which has been proved through harsh statements by federal and provincial ministers, said the Pakistan Economy Watch’s (PEW) president Dr Murtaza Mughal.
“The masses are being squeezed to promote the interests of the irresponsible elite who have become parasites on the national resources,” he said. “Accountability, reforms and increasing the tax base have become catchy slogans while privatisation has become a tool to plunder national resources,” said Mughal in a statement issued from Islamabad.
Dr Mughal said that despite the failed privatisation of K-Electric, the government was still trying to sell profit-making power companies including that of Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Muzaffargarh.
The privatisation of power distribution companies could leave masses at the mercy of merciless capitalists, according to Dr Mughal. A dysfunctional National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will never be able to safeguard the interests of the masses reeling under severe load-shedding after the sale of power utilities to influential bankers, he claimed. Dr Mughal said that the Federal Board of Revenue missed last year’s target of Rs2.07 trillion by Rs25 billion but the current target was set at Rs3.1 trillion to please the IMF, which will meet the fate of earlier targets. The tax system is not transparent or rather, it keeps rewarding the elite at the cost of the masses, which is pushing the country towards disaster, he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.