Shah Faisal Afridi proposes energy democracy in country

Lahore, April 08, 2015 (PPI-OT): President Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and industry, Mr. Shah Faisal Afridi has proposed “Energy Democracy” in the country, which can be implemented as Private-Public partnerships in the form of Consortiums to overcome the exceeding energy crises in Pakistan. In a press statement issued here today he urged also to involve Chinese investors in the Private-Public joint ventures for setting up the independent electricity production units.

Introducing energy democracy in Pakistan can ensure efficiency, investment, and reduced tariffs to resolve energy crisis, he said adding that that Pakistan can conduct participatory forms of decision-making enabling people to be involved in the electricity production. He said that energy democracy could not be achieved without public ownership on generation and distribution of energy.

Faisal Afridi elaborated that World has built 45,000 large dams so far while Pakistan has built only two large dams with 7% of world’s irrigated area, which shows the criminal neglect in safeguarding the life-giving waters. According to a World Bank report of 2006, Pakistan was fast moving from being a water-stressed country to a water-scarce country.

He said that currently China’s installed capacity of electricity generation is among the highest i.e. 1,146 million kilo watts, India’s installed capacity is 2,28,722 Mega watts whereas Pakistan has an installed capacity of 21,143 MW but it produces only 10,000 MW due to line losses, delay payments, line rents and poor maintenance of the hydel machinery.

Faisal Afridi pointed out that If Pakistan is to develop at a faster pace to attain a seven to eight per cent GDP growth, then it is imperative to address its energy needs. Pakistan is currently short by between 5,000 to 7,000 MW and if a major plan of action is not put into place now, the shortage is likely to be around 20,000 MW within 10 years, therefore like many developed countries, Pakistan should establish energy suppliers owned by the public on a local, regional and co-operative basis.

He said that the companies which are not wholly driven by profit will abstain from trickery, attract investment, infuse confidence, offer fair and simple energy tariffs and would further help those least able to pay bills and reinvest major portion of profits back into the local communities.

If the private sector can handle education, health, public transport, which is the responsibility of government, why cannot it handle power generation and distribution? He said that there is no other option now to overcome the shortage and provide relief to the people from load shedding except changing the status quo of power sector. In order to get rid of this energy crisis, Pakistan had to adopt public-private partnership, asserted Afridi.

He said that privatization and liberalization of telecommunication and banking sectors in Pakistan have produced highly beneficial results for the country as it greatly improved service delivery, gave new choices to the end consumers, brought down prices, created plenty of jobs and generated sufficient tax revenue for the government. He said privatization of energy sector would also lead to more efficient and reliable service delivery and free up government resources to be spent on health and education.

He mentioned that the private sector delivers through competition because businesses utilize latest technology, compete with each other and in this process value is passed on to the consumer.

Faisal Afridi said that China, UK and many other countries have transformed their power sectors by privatizing and liberalizing. He said that the privatization of K-Electric has also led to reduced load-shedding in Karachi and better service delivery as well as collection of receivables. He was of the view that privatization of energy sector would lure local and foreign direct investment in energy sector, introduce efficient, reliable, greener and sustainable new technologies.

He explicated that the formation of Electricity producing Consortiums would prove to be an effective policy as private sector would overcome the energy deficit by focusing and innovating alternative energy resources such as wind, solar, biomass, coal etc and on the other hand government would be relieved to focus on some huge hydel projects such as kaala Bagh Dam, Dasu Dam, Diamer Bhasha Dam whose completion is hampered due to some social and economic constrains he said, based on the mutual benefit and confidence economic stability would be ensured.

For more information, contact:
Wardah Ali Gohar
Media Manager
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353
Fax: +92-42-35777524
Cell: +92-324-4925611

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