The decision to allow provinces to produce and distribute their own power within their jurisdictions is likely to improve the overall generation capability of the country. One of several proposed amendments to the NEPRA Act, provincial autonomy in power generation has many possible benefits, the foremost of which is that the provinces will also be given the ability to set tariff rates for the produced electricity. Beyond promising revenue, this policymaking can have a direct impact on power generation and allow for smoother distribution in each province.

The change is also in line with the constitution – Article 157 of the constitution allows for provinces to set up electricity generation centres and transmission infrastructure in order to distribute in their own territory. Removing regulations that impede rather than facilitate is very important, and each step towards proper devolution of power to the provinces will only make the federation stronger.

This was also one of the rare occasions in which the public saw exemplary inter-party and provincial coordination. The KPK and Sindh Chief Ministers, standing next to the Federal Power Minister – on the same page no less – is not something seen every day. It is hoped that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) can continue this cooperation – it has to in order to determine the surcharge for the electricity produced.

Another side benefit of this change, is that while the failure of the federal government cannot be measured by any yardstick except the performance of past governments, provincial governments can also stand to be compared against one another. Having to compete against the progress of other provinces should allow for greater impetus to do a better job.

Greater accountability, giving provinces their due share of responsibility and power and increased cooperation in the power production sector can only lead to a more stable power supply to the national electricity grid.