NEPRA in its report for 2014-15 has leveled very serious charges against Ministry of Water and Power declaring shortfall in electricity production as fake, overcharging consumers through outdated ‘Time Of Use’ meters and gross mismanagement in power generation and distribution systems. We live in a world where specialists are required rather than simple bureaucrats, either civil or uniformed to head every state owned enterprise, including Power Generation and Distribution and their regulatory control. Pakistan’s Power Generation and Energy crisis is basically because of years of mismanagement, conflicts of interests, cronyism, and institutionalized corruption.

Other than practice of appointing elected politicians as ministers, every developing country where a system of checks and balances exist, and strong institution building is an objective, the best qualified specialists are selected to run state owned enterprises, instead of cronies. Today mismanagement in education, health, aviation, railways, financial institutions, state owned banking, Petroleum and Gas, Housing, Water and Power etc is basically because of wrong appointments, political interference, lack of transparency and their abuse by major stake holders within political elite and establishment of this country. Performance of Hajj and Umra which was carried out smoothly over years has become an agony for pilgrims, because commercial corporate interests of tour operators and politicized appointments in Ministry of Hajj and Directorate have relegated pilgrim’s convenience and safety to secondary importance.

The unfortunate reality is that there is no dearth of qualified economists, engineers, doctors, corporate managers, scientists, educationists, agriculture experts, pharmacists etc in Pakistan. Yet if government chooses to appoint a medical doctor as Adviser on Petroleum, a Pharmacist as Adviser on Water and Power, a pilot with no other qualifications or experience in aviation management as Adviser Aviation or MD of national airline, retired generals as Vice Chancellor, an engineer as Adviser Health, Chartered Accountants and MBAs as Economists, retired army engineers to head Power Regulatory, Power Generation and Distribution agencies, a civil bureaucrat to head Nandipur Power etc than failure was doomed to stare us in the face and cannot be blamed on fate.

MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, October 1.