Apr 032017
No power

Despite the government’s claims, the energy crisis will not be resolved by 2018. According to some media reports, the State of Industry Report 2016 of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) says that electricity loadshedding would persist in 2018. The report further states that although it may be possible to generate enough power by 2018, the distribution companies would not be able to supply it to the consumers because of inadequate transmission network and other constraints. On the other hand, a report by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) projects that gas loadshedding will continue until 2030, in spite of the import of LNG from Qatar and the completion of projects like Iran-Pakistan (IP) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline projects. One wonders what the present government, with its myopic vision and flawed planning, has so far achieved in reality to address the energy crisis that was once its top priority. Hussain Siddiqui Islamabad

Mar 302017
Impossible claims

This refers to the news report, ‘No power outages by end of this year, claims Shahbaz’ (Mar 29). However reality is just the opposite. It is impossible that the country will be free from hours-long loadshedding by the end of the year. According to some media reports, the current electricity shortfall in the country is 3,698 MW. This is because the country is only generating 9,672 MW of energy. The gap between demand and supply has already caused 8 hours loadshedding in rural areas and 4 hours loadshedding in major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, etc along with the unannounced power outages. The summer season is round the corner. Let’s see what this year has to offer. Hussain Siddiqui Islamabad

Jan 302017
It?s a rich man?s game

This refers to the news report, ‘Punjab CS, IG get pay raise’ (Jan 29). The hefty ‘superior executive allowance’ to the chief secretary and the inspector general of the Punjab police has created unrest among bureaucrats and the common man. The monthly salaries of the two officers have been increased by Rs400,000 and Rs375,000. Last year, the government scaled the basic salaries of parliamentarians up by more than 100 percent – from Rs72,000 to Rs200,000. All of this is happening in a country where minimum monthly wages are capped at Rs14,000 – a large number of institutions employ people on salaries lesser than the basic pay set by the government. Pensions of retired employees are as low as Rs200. This hefty allowance should be condemned at all levels. Hussain Siddiqui Islamabad ***** Although it is the government’s responsibility to take care of all citizens, the retired people deserve special attention since they have no other source of income. During the last PPP government, pensioners got a raise of 20 percent. However, the present PML-N-led government dropped the rate by 50 percent. Pensioners received a raise of 10 percent only while parliamentarians successfully received a whopping 146 percent increase in their salaries. Now, the chief minister of Punjab has granted a hefty superior executive allowance to the chief secretary and the IG of the Punjab police. Although the CM might have done it in good faith and to recognise the officers’ services, this is bound to cause resentment among bureaucrats across [Read More…]