ISLAMABAD: The worst-ever loadshedding in the history of Pakistan has been a consequence of corruption, bad governance and meddling into the affairs of power authorities by the ousted regime of the convicted, condemned and dismissed Yusuf Raza Gilani, official documents reveal.
While violent riots have broken out in different parts of the country, particularly in the Punjab owing to the severe power crisis, minutes of a recently-held high-level meeting at the Wapda House show the federal government is fully responsible for this crisis that has already resulted in the death of several persons.
“The entire issue is a self created issue,” a senior power executive said in the meeting held under the chairmanship of Water and Power Minister Ahmad Mukhtar of the just-removed Gilani’s cabinet. Another senior official pointed out, “Governance is the key issue. If we improve the governance, the major problems would be resolved automatically. The postings/transfers are being made on political basis and without any merit.” Another senior Wapda official said, “In order to improve the system, we must apply good governance.”
Held on June 5 at the Wapda House, the meeting, besides Ahmad Mukhtar, was also attended by Shakil Durrani, Chairman Wapda, Muhammad Qasim Khan, Member (Power), Wapda, Nazakat Ali Shah, Member (Finance), Wapda, Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar, Secretary, Wapda, Sh.Nazeer Ahmad, Managing Director, (CPPA), Muhammad Arshad Raza, Senior General Manager, Pepco, Ziaur Rehman, General Manager (C&M), Pepco, Abdul Majid Alvi, Chief Financial Officer, Pepco, Sabir Ali Khan, Director General (CPCC), and Muhammad Daud, Consultant (Planning) NTDC.
According to the minutes of the meeting, Ziaur Rehman, GM(C&M), Pepco, submitted that the current power crisis was due to a lack of cash flow because there was a huge gap between ‘payables’ and ‘receivables’ by the Pepco. He further said that the root cause of this problem were the falling recoveries and the high losses in Transmission & Dispatch system because of poor governance. There was a huge gap between the units produced and units billed. In fact, the inefficient companies are eating resources of efficient companies. He suggested that financial emergency be declared and all the recoveries /collection be made at the central level. This is a fact that distribution companies are not showing the real losses, which would be around 30% of the total losses, which were enhanced due to inefficiency.
Abdul Majid Alvi, CFO, Pepco, suggested that the Ministry of Water & Power may remain the policy making authority whereas the operational authority may be assigned back to Pepco/Wapda.
Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, MD (CPPA), submitted that governance was the key issue. “If we improve the governance, the major problems would be resolved automatically. The postings/transfers are being made on a political basis and without any merit. The recovery of dues position is 90% for four Discos and 60% for the remaining five Discos, which resulted in a complete chaos, which needs to be checked.” He further said that fake units were billed, which resulted in asking the Government of Pakistan to pay subsidies on fake units. This indicates how the system is being corrupted.
Muhammad Daud, Consultant (Planning), NTDC, submitted that the entire issue was a self created issue. Due to bad governance, Pepco is selling power to the non-performing sectors. The entire problem commenced due to unbundling of Wapda and if we desire to establish a new system, we must revert to the old system by rebundling and subsequently introducing reforms. “The involvement of the Ministry of Water & Power may be minimised to the level of policy guidelines only whereas operation activity may be left to Wapda/Pepco. Distribution companies may be answerable to Wapda/Pepco, instead of the Ministry of Water & Power. Good governance can be introduced by posting right person for the right job. CEOs may be appointed on merit. For the long term strategy, Wapda has planned to generate 60% of power through hydel sources. This target is well defined but how the 40% remaining power will be generated? Will it be through thermal?”
Muhammad Arshad Raza, Senior General Manager, Pepco, described that this power crisis was an issue of governance. In order to improve the system, we must apply good governance.