‘Pakistan’s power shortage an emergency’

June 20th, 2011 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 20 (IANS) A daily Monday described the acute power shortage in Pakistan as an “existential emergency” as it called for establishing a national power management plan.

An editorial in the News International noted: “Our installed sources of power generation exceed our power needs and if all were working at capacity we would be a net exporter of power.”

Giving statistics, it said: “Our power shortfall has now reached 5,000 megawatts. We are generating 13,240 MWs against a peak demand of 18,065MWs.

“Industry has ground to a halt; productivity in key sectors like that of cotton goods has dropped almost to zero in places like Faisalabad, the hub of the cotton spinning industry. In Lahore loadshedding has reached 14 hours a day.”

The editorial said that the problem is affecting every province.

It went on to say that at the heart of the matter “lies the inability to resolve the circular debt crisis and an embedded inefficiency in power distribution along with power theft”.

Taking a dig at government announcements to tackle the electricity situation, the editorial said: “We have lost count of the number of prime ministerial pronouncements on the management of the power crisis, the empty plans that never seem to materialise and the grand political statements that this or that much power has been added to the system since this government took office.”

Calling it “an existential emergency”, it added that the country needs a national power management plan.

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