Despite reduced urgency, reforms remain top priority in Power

Before the 2013 general elections, energy shortages and loadshedding were among the top most challenges facing the country, and the major political parties — PML-N, PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) — laid out steps in their manifestos to overcome them as a top priority besides reforming the governance structure of the sector.

Five years down the road when they return to the electorate, addressing electricity shortage is no more an issue for PML-N and PTI even though it still remains a challenge in the eyes of the PPP. Even though the urgency has lessened, reforming the sector remains among the top priorities of all parties.

All the three major parties, nevertheless, appear to be feeling the need to improve the fuel mix and reduce tariffs even though they have different lines of action. They also equally want to transform state owned power companies — generation companies to distribution companies — as a means of improving the energy sector and addressing the chronic circular debt problem.

Published in Dawn, 9th July, 2018