It could only be a government totally unconcerned about the masses that would keep on raising the electricity bills almost every month even when there is no electricity. This is a travesty of the basic responsibility of serving the public that the government carries on its shoulders. The new increase is up to 16 percent while the outages have increased to 18 hours per day and longer blackouts in the rural areas.

The rulers seem least bothered that the frustrated people who are up in arms as witnessed by sporadic protest rallies in different parts of the country can easily be mobilised by some political party to unseat the setup. The argument during the Cabinet’s meeting when Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour came to verbal fisticuffs with Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar for refusing to inform him about the demand and supply gap in KPK comes as small consolation since it shows some of them have begun to feel concerned albeit for the prospect of electoral victory. Interestingly in the middle of this slanging match, Mr Bilour questioned how would they ask people for the vote, if the power outages were not stopped. The perception is that this being the last year of the government’s tenure its greed has gone out of control; it is busy raking it in by snatching bread out of average man’s mouth. The sole aspect the rulers are bothered about is how to form the next government. It is also evident that the Ministry for Water and Power has no solid solution to grapple with the crisis. What Mr Qamar is good at is largely talking about concerns like electricity theft or at best expressing sham commitment to end unscheduled loadshedding, which simply show either he has no strategy or lacks the resolve. Even when it comes to a simple task such as load management, the government has fared worse than the previous setup. At a time when it continues to spend so much on its luxuries, it is a crying shame that the federal government could not spare enough money to pay the circular debt. This was the quickest means although it is regarded more of a quick-fix since the panacea lies in hydel energy which is inexpensive, reliable and environment friendly.

Frequently raising the charges when it should be decreasing them in accordance with few hours of electricity being supplied, the dispensation is inflicting a gross injustice to the poverty stricken people. They are already hard put eking out an existence given the prevailing inflation and with all the extra charges and increased tariffs what else would they do if not set their bills on fire.