Energy Crisis

is all Because of the Circular Debt Mr. Rasul khan Mahsud, Managing Director (MD), Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pvt) Limited PEPCO.

Had been Working as Chief Executive Officer, National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC). The Company is backbone of national power system of Pakistan, later approved the change of cadre as Managing Director NTDC by Board of Directors.

October 2010 till date
Due to multifarious experience and result oriented approach, he had been given additional charge for the post of Managing Director PEPCO.

He had many achievements in improving the national Power System including saving of billion of rupees for his organization.  He had executed many power projects with economy and efficiency. His performance was always admired by the concerned  Authorities.

B.Sc  Electrical Engineering (Power)  from university of Engineering and technology, Peshawar.

Certificate in Distribution Const-ruction Practices from Ohio, USA.

Jahangir’s World Times: what would you say about circular debt and do you think that present grant of 10 billion rupees given by the government would be enough?

Rasul Khan Mahsud: Actually, circular debt is an intra-departmental debt of power sector. Some people say that PEPCO is the epicenter of this crisis but I feel government is the epicenter of this crisis. In fact, during musharaf’s time instead raising the power tariff he put this issue at back burner due to political unrest in the country like the issue of ‘Chief Justice’ was going on. However, on the other hand oil price was very high i.e. 147$ per barrel and we were actually running into heavy losses. Now as far as present grant of 10 billion is concerned, it is not enough unless you resolve the whole issue of Circular Debt.

JWT: How do you see the present ‘Energy Crisis’?

RKM: Well the present ‘Energy Crisis’ is all because of the circular debt. In fact, our installed capacity is more than 21000 MW and if enough fuel is available as per our requirement i.e. 32000 metric ton per day; and availability of sufficient diesel & gas for our power plants like Gidu and KEPCO then surely there would be no problem of load shedding. The shortfall may be 1500 MW in extreme weather but our system is quiet flexible to absorb such small short falls. Thus, we have enough capacity but lack of fuel is the main hurdle to remove load shedding.

JWT: Why we always rely on thermal power generation instead of using coal, solar or  wind energy etc?

RKM: Actually, this is a long story when we were constructing ‘Kala Bagh Dam’ for which we made all the arrangements but suddenly it was made controversial by the Zia-Ul-Haq’s government and after that it was too much politicized therefore, we cannot even think about ‘Kala Bagh Dam’. But even than they could have made ‘Daya Mir Basha’ and ‘Buhnji Dam’ by that time twenty years back but they could not. So today we are facing the consequences of that negligence in the form of present energy crisis. Furthermore, there is a lot of progress going on wind energy projects president himself very much interested in these projects. We have signed an agreement with Iran of importing 37 MW and are about to sign another agreement for 1000 MW. Similarly, we are also getting 100 MW for Gawadr port.

JWT: What PEPCO is doing for the improvement of recovery?

RKM: We are doing our level best but the problem is very huge because in Khyber Pukhtoon Khaw recovery is very less similarly, in Balochistan and Sindh it is also less as compare to Punjab. Moreover, the most important factor is that provincial governments are not paying their dues for instances, KESC owed me 145 billion rupees but at the same time sindh government owed me more than 43 billion rupees. Same is the case with Azad Jammu Kashmir, Khyber Pukhtoon khwa, Balochistan and Punjab too. So, how you can run the power sector well in these circumstances.

JWT: Despite continous increase in the power tariff still power sector is going into loss, comment?

RKM: You see the main problem is oil because oil prices are increasing sky-rocketing everyday and same is the case with Sui Gass Therefore, when you generate electricity by oil and Sui-Gass then naturally the prices will go up.

JWT: It is observed that several departments of government are defaulters of PEPCO but we do not see any strict action against them?

RKM: No, this is not the case. It is very easy to say that PEPCO does not take action against departments of government we do. Suppose I disconnect electricity of WASA because they are defaulters of PEPCO then you know what would happen there will be no water even for drink and people will call me ‘Yazeed’. I must urge that government departments should realize there responsibility and pay their dues on time.

JWT: Don’t you think that we need a coherent and unanimous ‘National Energy Policy’ for the country?

RKM: Yes, I agree and I am in the favor of a single energy ministry because it will solve almost 50% problems of power sector including lack of coordination, planning etc. Suppose if I am the minister for Petroleum and Power then I will definitely keep the right balance between two. I would say PSO is mine and PEPCO is also mine and I will not let them into loss. Thus, a single ‘Energy Ministry’ is the only and long term solution which can lead us towards progress. In addition, I would say, when there will be no political interference and country will be at peace, when there will not be no law & order issues and no-go areas then not only PEPCO but every sphere of life will be on the way of progress.

Any Message 

My message is that People should conserve energy as much as they can. Parents and teachers should also teach their children about the importance and ways to save energy. As it was very rightly said that A MEGA WATT  SAVED IS BETTER THAN A MEGA WATT PRODUCED. Secondly, I would also like to say that people should not protect those who are involved in the power theft because it is their national duty to check  and indentify such culprits who are causing  great loss to the national economy. Thank you.

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