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January 17, 2015

MQM asks PM to retain city’s 650MW supply


January 17, 2015

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has requested the prime minister to ensure that the National Transmission and Dispatch Company’s 650MW supply to the K-Electric continues after the five-year pact for this arrangement expires on January 26.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday, MQM leader MNA Dr Farooq Sattar cited the power requirements of Karachi and its adjoining areas that fall within the province and in Balochistan.
Sattar feared that after the five-year contract expires, it might not be renewed or extended by the water and power ministry so that the 650MW could be used for meeting the electricity shortfall in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Balochistan.
“We all are cognisant of the difficult times our nation has been going through as we continue to fight the ever-prevailing energy crisis,” he wrote in the letter.
The MQM leader added that while the federal and provincial governments were playing their part in meeting the growing demands on limited energy supplies, reviving and safeguarding the engine of economic growth – Karachi – was also equally important.
“As you [the prime minister] would acknowledge, the city of Karachi is the industrial, commercial and financial hub of the country and continues to draw more than 25-30 percent of Pakistan’s GDP; contribute more than 65 percent of revenue collection, about 30 percent of manufacturing, and more than 90 percent of financial trade; generate around 95 percent of sea-borne trade by providing access through the Port Qasim and the Karachi Port and provide home to over 20 million residents (10 or 12 percent of Pakistan’s population),” Sattar wrote.
“It is worth noting that during the energy crisis, the K-Electric, the resilient power company, has been diligently ensuring power supply to the residents of Karachi and parts of rural Sindh and Balochistan. The company in recent years has significantly invested to improve its

performance to the satisfaction of the citizens. As its success story needs to be highlighted to attract further foreign investment through privatisation of power generation and distribution companies, it is equally important to realise that it would be unfair and detrimental if the 650MW supply to KE from the NTDC is interrupted or stopped.”
Sattar said the withdrawal of the power supply dedicated for Karachi would have adverse effects such as a massive increase in social and political problems because of prolonged power outages for all consumers including industrial ones; huge losses in industrial output; an increase in the consumer tariff and additional burden on the government through increased tariff differential claims
The peak power demand in Karachi stands at around 3,000MW and in the absence of 650MW from the national grid the power situation in the city will worsen and aggravate the unrest in the city.
Sattar noted that the 650MW was nearly five percent of the total power available through the national grid and it would be height of injustice if the people of Karachi were deprived of this small and rightful share.
“After the enactment of the 18th constitutional amendment, provincial governments have been categorically empowered to have a meaningful contribution while deciding the distribution of energy resources. Sindh contributes more than 65 percent of gas being produced in the country whereas it consumes less than 35 percent. Therefore as per Article 158 of the constitution, it is the fundamental right of the citizens of Sindh, particularly of Karachi, to have their due share from the national power pool.”
Sattar said although 650MW was hardly four or five of the total national grid capacity, with the upcoming projects of coal and nuclear energy in Karachi and its adjoining areas, the city would emerge as a “power hub” for electricity export to other parts of the country.
He urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pay personal attention to the crucial matter and direct the water and power ministry to continue supplying 650MW from the national grid to Karachi and its adjoining areas.

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