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Call to appoint experts to implement energy policy

THE new power policy is consisted of both right and wrong aspects but the major issue is its implementation in letter and sprit while the government should appoint energy sector experts for proper implementation.

These views were expressed by the discussants in Jang Economic Session on ‘new power policy a new push to inflation’, here on Monday. The panellists were Javed Qureshi, Khawaja Haroon, Abuzar Shad, Hamid Malhi, Tanzeem Hussain and Dewan Ghulam Mohiyuddin while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi. Abuzar Shad said good energy policy and implementation would be a dream until government will not take the stakeholders on board. He said the government should constitute a think tank comprising all sector experts to make a comprehensive energy policy which defines to meet annual 10 percent demand of it. He said the government energy policy failed to allocate resources to control distribution losses. Javed Qureshi said energy crisis could not be resolved without involving engineers in policy making. He said experts’ suggestions could be helpful for short-term energy solution but could not be lasting for long-term projects. He said engineers and experts were not consulted before making new energy policy while no timeframe was given for implementation. Tanzeem Hussain Naqvi said withdrawal of subsidy by the government was a cruel step as the people are already suffering due to wrong government policies and paying higher cost of energy. He said increase in electricity tariff will not increase government revenue but enhance its theft due to costly electricity. He said the electricity price was increased by 186 percent during these three years while government revenue was only 70 percent. He appreciated anti-electricity theft drive but stressed the need of overhauling of complete electricity system.

Hamid Malhi said Pakistan needs 20,000 megawatt electricity by 2024 but energy policy did not cover it. He said government completely ignored agriculture sector while focused on costly energy generation methods. He said electricity was not available for agriculture sector which was affecting its productivity. Khawaja Haroon said energy policy has huge discrepancies but important thing is that policy is made. He said major drawback of the policy is that it was made by electricity producer which is open conflict of interests. He said that payment of circular debt was declared a milestone in the policy but it had not brought any positive impact on it. Dewan Ghulam Mohiyuddin said Pakistan toes US policies while government was ignoring Iran’s offers of 8 cents per megawatt while current domestic production costs it 16 cents. He said government was doing untiring efforts for Rs 25 per unit solar energy. He said previous government made gas pipelines agreement with Iran to overcome energy crisis.

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