The electricity loadshedding scenario is worsening by every passing day with the caretaker government being unable to tackle it. There seems to be no workable solution in sight leaving people to suffer the scorching heat of the current and coming months. The power subsidy being paid by the federal government would touch Rs 291 billion mark by the end of June against an allocation of Rs 185 billion for the ongoing financial year. The special bailout package of Rs 20 billion was approved by caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, but the government cannot afford financial bleeding for an unlimited time. This led to a blatant refusal by the Finance Ministry on Monday to release any funds on the pretext that it had not received any written order from the Prime Minister office. According to IPP Advisory Council Chairman Abdullah Yousuf, the Pepco owes Rs 300 billion to independent power plants (IPPs), rising from Rs 200 billion. This clearly indicates that the power crisis would further worsen in the coming days due to circular debt which was getting out of hand.

Thermal power plants, on the other hand, are operating at 40% to 50% capacity, which may further drop due to non-payment of dues that had led to closure of six power plants including Orient, Halmore, Saif, Saphire, Uch and Hub Power Company (Hubco) Narowal. The Pakistan government has all along been going against international practices about its energy mix because no mega hydel project could be launched after the commissioning of the Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project. Last summer angry mobs got to the street ransacking Wapda offices and putting ablaze grid stations demanding end to the curse of prolonged hours of loadshedding; this time again, if remedial measures are not taken on a war-footing and in time, the situation would worsen, the industrial sector that has been hardest hit has failed to meet the requirement of export orders. It is time to act now.