As the new power tariff, with an increase of Rs 3.04 per unit, goes into effect, consumers will have to pay 36 percent more than what they paid for their last months use of electricity, having a devastating impact on life across the entire spectrum of society. The already spiralling inflation will receive further momentum and worsen the plight of especially those who are struggling to meet the cost of essential needs already. The announced policy of exempting those who consume only 100 units a month will apply only to a small section of the population. By and large, the average consumer will not go unscathed; the highly adverse effect on the economy this massive rise in the cost of power is expected to have is going to hurt across the board. Our exports will increase in price and become less competitive in a global market, where Pakistani goods are already facing tough competition and expectations of delays due to the security situation and electricity crisis are well-known. The argument, which the Central Power Purchase Agency put forward to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to seek this unconscionable hike fuel price adjustment could, perhaps, be statistically justified, but it evokes feelings of outrage at the callousness of the PPP-led government ruling the country for the past three years and a half for failing to avoid the crisis affecting this vital sector. In this context, the outburst of the Managing Director of Pakistan Electric Power Company, Mr Rasool Khan Mehsud, that political meddling was the main cause of loadshedding is noteworthy. He has accused successive governments of inducting incompetent and unwilling workers into the system, maintaining that unless it is purged of them it would not be possible to end the outages. An added worry for citizens is that every state-owned corporation PIA, Railways, etc. appears to be on the verge of default. It was expected that a government that never tires of claiming to serve the people would have taken immediately the required steps to set things right. On the contrary, as Mr Mehsud reveals, the federal and provincial governments and other departments owe to PEPCO as high an amount as Rs 155 billion against the total circular debt of Rs 300 billion. Considering the countrys predicament today, with particular reference to the menace of circular debt, there can be no justification for this default since all institutions of the government annually get the necessary allocations under this head specifically mentioned in their budgets. The pity is that against the backdrop of the unending loadshedding Prime Minister Gilani's statement that 'people are impatient, but the government cannot perform miracles, highlights a genuine problem. It is true that miracles seldom happen in the case of state-run enterprises turning a profit overnight, but instead of such a statement a resolve to do whatever could be done on a priority basis, working day and night to alleviate the genuine misery and discomfort of the people would have been a more welcome approach.