PM appealed to intervene, quickly resolve load shedding issue



KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli and President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan have appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately intervene and take strictest notice of the widespread protests and sit-ins being carried out by every single citizen of Karachi and all the political parties even PTI MNAs/ MPAs who have been strongly protesting against K-Electric (KE)  as the utility service provider continues to carry out intense load shedding all over Karachi whereas the Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, while totally disowning Karachi, says KE’s electricity issue is not his responsibility which is a really worrisome statement hence the PM must take immediate notice.

If PTI-led government fails to act against KE then, the entire business & industrial community of Karachi would like to request the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan to please intervene in this serious matter by taking sou motu notice in order to provide relief to the perturbed citizens of Karachi who have been going through awful situation caused not only by KE but also by federal and provincial governments who are equally responsible for their inability to ensure relief to Karachi. It is really unfortunate that nobody owns Karachi but everybody wants to squeeze 70 percent revenue from this city to run the entire country, Siraj Teli and Agha Shahab added in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Although all the political parties have been protesting against KE but strangely, PTI MNAs have also joined the fleet by holding press conferences and sit-ins against KE whereas they are in power and KE comes under federal government’s purview yet they have been strongly criticizing Omar Ayub Khan for his powerlessness to deal with this issue which is beyond our imagination, Chairman BMG and President KCCI said while referring to strong remarks given by MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain against Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan and President Dr. Arif Alvi.

They were of the opinion that Prime Minister Imran Khan must put aside all his other engagements and visit Karachi at the earliest to hold a meeting in which all the stakeholders, particularly representatives of the business & industrial community who are the biggest stakeholders, must be invited so that the load shedding issue could be amicably resolved.

Siraj Teli said, “Karachi city, despite contributing a huge chunk of 70 percent revenue to the national exchequer, has been mercilessly left alone and stranded. The injustice and oppression to Karachiites must stop now and PM Khan will have to take concrete steps in such a manner that action against KE and subsequent reaction become visible.”

Siraj Teli and Agha Shahab further stressed that if PTI MNAs have been publicizing JIT reports then they all must also demand to publicize the agreement between KE and the government which contains glaring loopholes and faults, besides providing full freedom to KE to fearlessly enjoy the monopoly.

They opined that the government is also involved in negotiations between KE and Shanghai Electric China which intends to acquire 66.4 percent of KE’s total issued share capital but either Shanghai Electric takes over or the current possessors retain KE’s control in future, the existing agreement with the utility service provider is unacceptable and it has to be revisited and amended at any cost. “It has been a terrible experience for Karachiites after KE’s privatization in 2005 hence, the next agreement must address all the loopholes and faults, besides leaving no room for monopolization. Because of KE’s monopoly, the consumers have no other option but to bear exploitation by KE. The end to KE’s monopoly would certainly engage other companies in the power generation & distribution sector, trigger competition and give consumer the freedom to choose either KE or any other Utility Service Provider whoever is capable of fully satisfying their demand, they added.

They were of the opinion that keeping in view the huge population and size of Karachi city, the entire power generation & distribution network of Karachi has to be divided between three to four electricity parties so that not only KE but other companies could also be brought into the field for fulfilling the electricity demand in different areas and they should also not be able to monopolize.

“We hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan would pay attention to this serious issue at the earliest and take concrete steps to minimize the hardships being suffered by the citizens and the business & industrial community of the largest city of Pakistan”, they added.