DESCO’s dance drama

The Senate Standing Committee on Power was apprised by the PESCO authorities that 640 factories had been closed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to shortage of electricity during recent years. It further said that the Export Processing Zone Risalpur was being energized through one electricity feeder over the last three decades while a second feeder was added recently by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa EZDMC, but both feeders are overloaded due to fast industrialization in the zone. According to the Joint Committee of Industrial Zone, due to constant fluctuation, tripping, load shedding, valuable electric equipment losses were taking place in the Export Processing Zone every single day. According to reports, the issue of unsatisfactory arrangement for provision of power at Risalpur Export Processing Zone was referred by the Chairman Senate to the standing committee for perusal of the matter. The committee was told that over a period of three decades, only $150 million revenue had been generated and exports amounting to only $40 million had taken place. These figures are very disturbing for the nation as well as for the government. The Senate Standing Committee was further informed that there were 31,649,536 regular electricity connections while 1,389,184 “Kunda” connections in power distribution companies (DISCOs) across the country. The Senate Standing Committee’s briefing of power distributing companies was an eye opener for the government and the public because the inefficiency and mismanagement of power distributing companies had resulted in unprecedented loss to the national exchequer and also mired the national development. In fact, appointment of incapable individuals and absence of accountability of higher officials had turned these profit generating companies into white elephants. The Committee must question the performance of DISCOs against millions of illegal Kunda connections in the country and closure of 640 industrial units of the country. The heinous character of PESCO’s authorities in curbing the industrial activities in the province is highly regrettable and actionable by the government. Pakistan is one of the few countries of the world, where the government is running the businesses of electricity, gas, and other commodities for the public. The government must abandon this discourse by privatization of these entities and use public resources for the benefit of the masses.