The new PML-N government promised some fundamental changes within 90 days. This spurred people’s imagination to expect some kind of miracles from them. Now they have got one. The minister for Water and Power has just announced, on the strength of a dubious public poll endorsement, at least 30 percent increase in prices of electricity which are already 50 percent higher than the international market. Now it would become 100 percent dearer. The basic aim here is of course to fulfill IMF’s demand to get the loan released. We need 3 billion rupees daily to run the power houses at full capacity to abolish loadshedding completely, but everyday one billion are defaulted by the central and provincial governments and one more billion worth of electricity is stolen by powerful government functionaries and the bribers.

This leaves us only one billion rupees that is recovered from the helpless honest or weak consumers who pay their bills regularly. Five hundred million is thrown in daily by the government which it ridiculously calls subsidy, making a total of one and a half billion available to the electricity department which gives a combined rural and urban average of 12 hours of electricity supply daily. As the price will be increased without restructuring the electricity bureaucracy, eradication of theft, and change-over to non-imported fuel, the shortfall will only escalate and impoverish the middle class down to a miserable status. This will only prove the rumors originally floated by Imran Khan that the last elections were rigged to bring in an IMF subservient government just as they had been tampered with in 2008 to usher in a government cooperating in spread of terrorism.

MUHAMMAD KASHIF,

Muzaffargarh, July 23.