KARACHI - The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and Nepra meeting was held at a local hotel, where many issues were discussed. Tanzeem Hussein Naqvi discussed the consumer problems which are resurfacing in Karachi and talked about the unprecedented rise in oil prices that have risen internationally and locally. Earlier, Nepra had presented a proposal of a 30 per cent increase in per unit; but the KESC had declined the offer. Now, the KESC has agreed to increase in per unit charge. At the meeting, it was reported that there has been 3.5 per cent of revenue increase for the first time ever in the history of an electric supply company. The revenue generated between June 2007-June 2008 amounts Rs 4.876 million, Naqvi maintained. On the other end, the consumer market of commercial and the residential sector suffered major electricity problems with power cut and loadshedding being a routine activity. The consequences of this crisis is available in the shape of the recent riots in Karachi, when suffering citizens finally lost their temper and took to the streets to protest the unending power cuts. Pakistan's chronic power shortage is now assuming critical proportions. And what is worse than the unending electricity breakdowns is lack of any planning to rectify the situation. But apart from discomfort and lost tempers, there is a direct economic cost of this growing gap. Nepra, the official regulatory body for the power sector, does not have the autonomy it needs to impose a rational price structure. With hydro-electric projects stalled due to a lack of political will and consensus, and thermal projects unable to get off the ground due to bureaucratic hesitation and lack of private-sector interest, a bigger crisis looms large on the horizon.  As the KESC privatisation has just demonstrated, the private sector does not have a ready answer for all our problems.  There must be a sound plan based on political consensus that involves all the stakeholders.