Thursday, August 6, 2009

Power may be available but few people will be able to afford it in future: Moonis Elahi

The already alarming high power rates are bound to shoot up by another 30-40%.
Despite 18 hours of load shedding consumers are getting 20-30% inflated bills.

Gross mismanagement of present rulers, their ad hoc and myopic policies, acquisition of expired rental power units, acceptance of strict IMF terms, maddening increase in power tariff coupled with power outages up to 18 hours a day have put an unprecedented load on the common Pakistani.

This was stated by senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League, Moonis Elahi while talking to party workers in London yesterday. He said the way the present government was handling the existing power crisis was extremely flawed.

He stated that if the government did not revise its current power policies immediately there was every possibility that there might be electricity available in future but with very few people able to afford it. He said that the rumor was rife that the government was increasing power rates to a further 30% to 40% in the next few months.

Moonis Elahi said that at present the country was engulfed in darkness, almost 60% factories had closed down, farms were giving a desolate look and there was an acute shortage of water and electricity for domestic users. He alleged that despite 12 to 18 hours of power load shedding in the country the power companies were sending the consumers 20% to 30% inflated bills.

He blamed the present ruling clique for these ills. He pointed out at the alarming increase in unemployment, which had pushed millions into abject poverty in the last 18 months and blamed the present ruling alliance as solely responsible for this sorry state of affairs. He said the rulers were busy spending valuable public money on their personal comforts and luxuries while the daily trials and tribulations of the common man on the other hand were multiplying at an alarming rate.

He pointed out at the soaring rise in the occurrence of suicides and crimes and blamed the present government’s selfish and myopic policies as the main reason for these unfortunate trends. He declared that N league was equally responsible with coalition partner PPP in the present power crisis and in all other problems being faced by the country.

Moonis Elahi said that the current power crisis was threatening the economic foundations of Pakistan but the government instead of finding long term and sustainable solutions and remedial measures was going for ad hoc and myopic decisions and policies aiming at self aggrandizement and personal gains.

He stated that seeking IMF loans on stringent terms and acquiring used and out dated rental power units were not a solution to the problem. He blamed the ruling alliance for deliberately keeping the parliament in the dark on all steps with regard to solving the country’s energy crisis. He warned that the $ 2 billions overload of the rental power units will have a devastating effect on the national economy and it was the role of the parliament to step in and put a stop to this blatant loot and plunder.

He pointed out that only in Punjab over 30,000 industrial units had closed down due to power shortage and there was an alarming increase in public anger and protests but to no avail.

Moonis Elahi said that the government in an unplanned and short sighted manner was increasing the country’s reliance on fossil fuel for power generation whereas the long term solution to the problem was in implementing a pragmatic and aggressive hydel power policy. He strongly urged the need for construction of hydel power projects including Kalabagh dam and urged the present government to set aside its political exigencies and work with all parties to foment a national consensus for the construction of the much needed hydel power projects in the country.