Pity the nation which is unable to light electric bulb while being able to ignite atomic bomb. Over this paradoxical situation, one could only feel sorry for a nuclear country in the twenty first century, which has been forced to experience worst power crisis. Electricity loadshedding has plagued the economy of the country already facing stagflation, an economic condition characterized by the low or no economic growth coupled with high inflation. That has virtually played havoc with all the sectors of economy including manufacturing, retail and services. Provision of sufficient energy and infrastructure to its people for a conducive economic environment is the basic responsibility of any government.
Resolving the energy crisis through thermal power projects has been a peculiarity of PPP’s government. For this, we have seen it excessively obsessed and perhaps equally blessed. As the common proverb goes, “lighting never strikes in the same place twice.” Very true! It struck at IPP’s during the second tenure of BB, and afterwards, very recently, it again struck at the RPP’s to the benefit and advantage of PPP’s government. Ironically, at the same time, it has also struck at the very root of the poor masses in the form of expensive electricity at first stage and on electricity at all at the second one.
We have observed that this power crisis was triggered overnight on the assassination of BB in December, 2007. It is an open secret now that, due to circular debt caused by the unpaid outstanding dues, IPP’s are quite handicapped and unable to operate at their full installed capacity to produce electricity. Instead of addressing or solving the problem of circular debt, the present government wasted the time and resources of the poor nation in the RPP’s without any fruitful result. Now, it is the need of the time to tackle this issue on the war footing giving it top most priority and making a comprehensive strategy to resolve it by mobilising all the available resources.
But regrettably, it feels that government is uncommitted and unconcerned about this issue as its term has almost finished. Government seems more interested in the issues like making a new Seraiki province just to get some political mileage there, But it should always be remembered, divide the Punjab in two, three or even thirteen parts, all would going to be as dark and as deprived.
Lahore, May 14.