CPEC projects to add 17000MW to grid

Energy projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would add 17000MW to generation the federal cabinet was informed by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms, headed by Ahsan Iqbal. There is no doubt that the PML-N government has focused on electricity generation and has allocated massive funds from Public Sector Development Programme but as a second priority after road construction; unfortunately though this has been to the exclusion of all other concerns relating to the energy sector. That these concerns are insurmountable has been evident given the escalation in the circular debt from what was inherited by this government in 2013, currently estimated at more than a trillion rupees, sustained poor governance, and delay in restructuring distribution companies to minimize losses.

Additionally, paucity of funds and poor governance led to heavy borrowing by the sector, domestically and from external sources, with consumers being compelled to pay the cost of this borrowing that, in turn, accounts for higher electricity tariff relative to our competitors abroad. It is little wonder that the country’s exports are on a downward trajectory for a year and a half.

Published in Business Recorder, 6th April, 2018