The power sector on the whole is not performing well . The worst performance relate to Discos , the power distribution companies charged with wrong billings & metering , bad recoveries , high system losses , power thefts , inefficiecy and rampant corruption.
This has been going on for years but recently such incidences have risen sharply and is contributing to piling up of notorious circular debt which is hurting the national economy adversely . The quality of service is erratic and load shedding is being resorted to inspite of surplus generation due to distribution bottlenecks.
There have been suggestions in the press and government circles to privatise the Discos in order to have better power supply conditions as well as to eliminate inefficiecy and corrupt practices.
Privatisation will do more harm than good . We should learn a lesson from the performance of K-Electric which is a privatised entity , where the lives of citizens have been made miserable with no sign of any relief to the hapless consumers lot .
A privatised company is also a monopoly whose main interest is to maximise its profit by not investing in upgradation of power infrastructuter as , when and where required . Experience has shown that the government can exercise little control over the privatised monopoly.
The government is well advised to take appropriate measures to improve the working of the Discos , rather than privatising them . Besides strong administrative actions , it should inculcate professionalism in the technical bodies to make them service oriented.
Accountability should be enforced accross the board and the inefficient and corrupt should be shown the door . At the same time , honest hardworking professionals need to be encouraged and rewarded .
Engr Riaz Bhutta