WEB DESK: It doesn’t look like it! The state of affairs in the energy sector is getting more tangled than ever. Incompetence, poor transparency, lack of competence, T&D losses, and circular debt are challenges that have not been able to see any big respite in the last two years of the government in office.
Mind you, there are the root causes that need to be tackled for goof for any improvement energy availability in the country; successive governments have been neglecting the roots causes and opting for ad hoc and provisional methods that result in the resurfacing of the issues.
Will Pakistan ever get out of it? We should keep our faith, but a recently released book by the name “Pakistan’s Interminable Energy Crisis: Is there a way out?” dampens all such hopes. A first look at this book by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars reveals that while it is not impossible to break free from the reigns of energy crisis, it will take a long time before Pakistan can do that and that too with only proper and timely measures taken.
The three challenges the book names as the most crucial for the country include the demand and supply gap, inefficiencies and affordability. The illustration shows how the estimated load shedding remains a key concern for as demand for generation heightens. With an average of around 5000-6000MW of shortfall, the highest number of hours of electricity load shedding are about 14 hours.
Similarly, the cost of electricity has been increased in consonance with IMF conditions, which becomes burdensome for the consumers along with an expensive energy mix that still relies on furnace oil and diesel mostly. And when it comes to inefficiencies, the sector is plagued will all sorts of irregularity from top to bottom that has resulted in circular debt, non-payments, accruals, poor governance, subsidies, red tapism etc.
The government has yet again failed to bring in foreign investment that it promised; this is an excellent example of taking shortcuts; had the policymakers first addressed issues like fixing the sector, pursuing privatization in a timely manner, restructuring the regulators (OGRA and NEPRA), and revamping and upgrading the transmission and distribution system, bringing in investor would not have been a problem.
Source: BR research