Electricity consumers have been converted into revenue-generating machines for the loss-making power sector entities to cover up their inefficiency, misgovernance and corruption. How else can one describe the frequent hikes in power tariffs on one pretext or the other?
Recently, they have again raised the base power tariff to generate trillions during the current fiscal year, which is ridiculous. This is in addition to the already existing high electricity tariff, fuel and quarterly adjustment charges and other unjustified miscellaneous charges, including capacity charges, higher system losses and theft.
Consumers are also made to pay for new capacities, whether utilised or not, and low sales growth for which they are not responsible at all.
Why are the consumers made to pay for the energy they never utilise and for the system losses, theft and bad recoveries? It is beyond any logic why the consumers should cough up their hard-earned money because of low volume of sales.
As per the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), all consumers, be it domestic, commercial, agricultural or industrial, will be made to pay a substantial amount of additional charges per unit without any solid reason to raise funds for the loss-making power sector for no fault of the hostage consumers. This is a barbaric and terrible way of minting money from citizens who are already under heavy financial burden owing to hyperinflation for the last five years.
Our much-needed exports are never going to increase. Rather, they will decline in view of the higher input cost of electrical power, making them uncompetitive.
As a result, the national economy is never likely to come out of its depression in the absence of reasonable power charges. The high cost of electricity is going to further increase cases of line losses, theft, bad recoveries and corruption.
It is time citizens took a united stand and raised their voice in protest against the ever-rising unjustified exorbitant increase in power rates.
They may initially boycott the use of electricity for one hour daily, and increase the duration subsequently across the country till their demand of affordable electricity is accepted.