The joy and happiness people are looking forward to as Eid-ul-Fitr approaches may well be dimmed this year. According to a report in this newspaper, it is expected that even on this joyous occasion there may be no let-up in the relentless loadshedding that has confronted us all through the year and even into Ramazan. The Pakistan State Oil, which has stated to be badly short of cash, has slashed the furnace oil supply to power plants from about 28,000 tons to just 15,373 tons a day. Power plants, as a result, literally have no fuel to produce electricity. The prime minister had previously ordered adequate fuel supplies to the plants but PSO apparently says this is simply not possible unless a sum of Rs23 billion is immediately released to it. The whole problem is of course one of circular debt.
While the PM gave orders for 28,000 tons of furnace oil to be supplied, he did nothing to solve the long string of financial woes which prevent PSO from feeding the power sector the furnace oil it requires. To make matters even worse, four Independent Power Producers have also said they will need to cut power generation due to financial factors. The complexities of all this needs to be sorted out by experts. But for the common man life is becoming more and more difficult. Problems created by the power shortage are acute. People have not only been robbed of their peace of mind and livelihoods but now it seems they are going to be robbed of the simple delights of celebrating Eid with family and friends and will be left seething and cursing the menace of power cuts.