Debt ballooning despite a continued hike in power tariff: Mian Zahid Hussain

Islamabad, October 05, 2020 (PPI-OT): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on national development in presence of circular debt is an illusion. The broken power sector will not allow most of the economic policies to succeed and it will never allow any large scale investment.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that power tariff is being continuously increased which has damaged buying power of masses and dented the economy but it has failed to contain the growing circular debt. Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said the government should prioritise culmination of power and has sectors circular debts which as compromised growth.

Power tariff for masses and industry is more than the tariff in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indian, Thailand and South Korea eroding competitiveness, he said. He said that the two factors hitting the power and gas sectors are theft and line losses which has become a great burden on masses and the economy while gas shortage before winter and electricity scarcity before summer has become a routine.

Most of the subsidies including that of energy are benefitting those who don’t need it while theft by influential is rampant, he observed. Pakistan has signed contracts to buy costly LNG which is keeping us in crisis otherwise the spot rate of LNG is cheaper than local gas in the international market. Energy problem has damaged industry and economy a lot over the past two decades reducing exports and pushing up imports which should be a matter of concern for the policymakers.

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