Industry Dilemma: A Plea to Alleviate Capacity Charges
The President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Faraz-ur-Rehman, has raised an alarm regarding the surging electricity costs in Pakistan. Attributing this to the region’s highest rates, he contends that these charges are adversely affecting the global competitiveness of Pakistani products. This concern was vocalized during a luncheon honoring K Electric Chief Executive Monis Alvi.
The Capacity Conundrum: A National Call to Action
Faraz-ur-Rehman underscored the urgency for a national awareness campaign to address the escalating electricity prices, primarily driven by capacity charges. He advocates for a strategic shift, proposing that supplying power to industries in bulk could alleviate the burden of these additional charges. Despite Pakistan’s electricity production surpassing 40 thousand megawatts, the consumption hovers around 22 thousand megawatts, leading citizens to bear capacity charges on unused electricity.
Crafting Solutions: Government Intervention and Industry Empowerment
President KATI proposes a multifaceted solution, urging the government to invest in enhancing the transmission system. The aim is to efficiently utilize excess electricity, offering affordable power to industries. This, he argues, could empower industries to consume more electricity, thereby enhancing production, stimulating the economy, and stabilizing electricity prices. He criticizes the current strategy of burdening citizens with additional charges instead of adopting proactive measures to avoid capacity charges.
Industry Insight: K Electric’s Perspective
In response, K Electric CEO Monis Alvi praises Karachi’s electricity system as superior to other provinces. He clarifies that K Electric adheres to government and NEPRA-set rates, emphasizing their commitment to quality service and compliance with prescribed line loss limits. Alvi deflects responsibility for determining prices, putting the onus on the authorities.
Skepticism and Solutions: Committee Perspectives
Chairman of the Standing Committee, Danish Khan, expresses pessimism about an imminent decrease in electricity prices. He highlights IMF conditions, urging the government to address administrative malpractices to prevent the undue burden on industrialists and the public. Vice Chairman Rehan Javed echoes the sentiment, criticizing past agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and advocating policies to use excess electricity effectively, mitigating capacity charges. Javed underscores the urgency of upgrading the national transmission system, combating line losses, and curbing theft.
In conclusion, the confluence of industry voices calls for a comprehensive approach—national awareness, government intervention, and strategic industry empowerment—to navigate the complex landscape of capacity charges and ensure a sustainable and competitive energy future for Pakistan.