Unveiling the Gaps in Pakistan’s Power Sector Governance


A closer look at the flawed governance system impacting consumers as electricity prices soar
In a recent development, Nepra, the regulatory authority for the power sector in Pakistan, issued a notification announcing an increase in electricity prices to 4.56 rupees per unit. This move sheds light on the inadequacies of our inefficient and corrupt governance system within the power sector.
Consumers, who are already burdened with paying approximately 80-100 rupees per unit, including various taxes and charges, are likely to face a surge in their electricity bills. The prevalent corrupt governance system forewarns of a bleak future with an anticipated escalation in such incidents.
Examining the power consumption patterns during the fiscal year 2021-22 reveals a stark contrast. The system witnessed the highest demand of 28,253 megawatts in June 2022, while during the colder months, the demand plummeted to 15,962 megawatts in December 2021. Despite an excess of power plants, the government has failed to efficiently utilize the available capacity.
As of June 30, 2022, the installed capacity for ‘take or pay’ and mandatory power plants across the country stood at 43,775 megawatts. The mismanagement of the power sector is evident as load shedding continues, despite the installed capacity exceeding our current needs. The primary reasons for underutilizing the installed production capacity (43%) are load shedding and the flawed governance system.
To rectify this situation, the government needs to attract investments and promote industrial growth by enforcing laws that govern the effective use of additional power plants. Unfortunately, our billions of dollars of investments either remain stagnant in local banks or are channeled into foreign investments due to the prevailing corrupt governance system.
It is imperative for the nation to analyze how bad governance has steered us off course. Successive governments have prioritized fulfilling their own interests, resulting in the deterioration of our economy. To foster economic growth and enhance the business environment, it is crucial to eliminate corruption and ensure the efficient management of funds in public sector organizations.
Ultimately, to reform the power sector, a comprehensive overhaul of all government institutions is necessary. We need determination and resolve to bring about positive change. To fix the DISCOs (Distribution Companies) and the power sector as a whole, we must treat all government bodies equally. However, we also need to appoint highly competent and honest individuals who will act on behalf of the people and wield the power of their votes wisely.
Our destiny is intertwined with the welfare of the people of Pakistan, and only a government that secures moral support from its citizens can take actions that benefit the country. As the largest stakeholders in the nation, the people of Pakistan must rise above their political affiliations to unite for the greater good. The upcoming elections provide an opportunity for us to transcend our political ties and unite for a stronger Pakistan.

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