ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - As power crisis worsens due to rising circular debt, National Assembly’s special committee on energy crisis has recommended ending power subsidy for mighty and rich of the country.

The incumbent government should end the power subsidy for powerful people including parliamentarians, bureaucracy and employees of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) to improve the situation of energy sector.

A Parliamentary penal, which met here on Monday with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in chair made recommendations to resolve the energy crisis, recommended this. The penal was informed that power sector had eaten up Rs 290 billion during the first seven months on account of subsidy.

While briefing the parliamentary penal, Additional Secretary Water and Power Arshad Mirza said that bureaucracy and parliamentarians had not right to enjoy the power subsidy. “If someone can afford air conditioner, he should pay power bill,” he said adding that government requires political will to end the subsidy for mighty and rich to put house in order.

Member Committee Bushra Gohar said that provision of free of cost electricity to employees of Wapda should be ended. Officials of Water and Power Ministry said that government was giving over Rs 215 billion per annum.

“Government is paying Rs 3.97 per unit subsidy to domestic consumers, Rs 2.48 per unit commercial consumers, Rs 1.89 per unit industrial and Rs 3.07 per unit subsidy to agriculture sector,” power ministry officials said adding that power sector has eaten up Rs 290 billion during first seven months of ongoing financial year.

Chairman committee Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that raise in power tariff was the immediate solution of power crisis in the country. He said that there was price difference of Rs 4 per unit between generation and its sale, power tariff should be raised by Rs 4 per unit to end subsidy. He said that power should be made expensive for the bulk consumers of electricity and subsidy should be given to those using less power.

He observed that power subsidy had exceeded the expenditures of government and therefore subsidy should be ended for mighty and rich to overcome energy crisis. He also stressed the power distribution companies (Discos) should be bound to reduce transmission and distribution losses to improve the situation.