(October 12, 2020)
Senior Vice Chairman of Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Chief of FPCCI Standing Committee on FBR, Public Utilities and Fair and Exhibitions and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday supported the decision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to appoint Tabish Gohar as Special Assistant to PM on energy.
Mr. Gohar is a foreign qualified and globally known energy expert and has a lot on his credit including bringing K-Electric to profit therefore the business community is pinning high hopes on him, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that putting the power sector back on track will be a challenge for him and the business community will fully cooperate with him.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said notorious power sector circular debt has jumped to Rs2.28 trillion by September and it is increasing at a worrying pace of Rs1.5 trillion per day.
The IMF programme which was suspended in January cannot be resumed unless the issue of circular debt is settled according to the wishes of the lender by increasing power tariff to unsustainable levels which is being resisted by the government.
He said that presently many old and inefficient power stations are being operated in the country adding to the debt, power production is more than consumption while government is bound to pay for it, heavy capacity charges are hitting power sector while the faulty transmission system is unable to transmit power generated by the power plants.
He hoped that Tabish Gohar will tackle these issues, close, sell or relocate old power plants, bring an end to power theft worth Rs400 billion, and improve transmission system. He will also focus on improving the power distribution system, ensure merit, pay attention to renewable energy, and push early completion of hydro power projects to provide affordable energy to domestic consumers and industrial sector.
He said that no economic policy can be fruitful unless the power sector is fixed and Mr. Gohar is well aware of this fact.