ISLAMABAD: Chairman PTI Imran Khan has  expressed concern over the growing power outages alongside the increasingly hot weather in the country. “

In  a statement issued here Wednesday by PTI spokesperson, Imran said this government has not only failed to deliver on its promises of ending loadshedding, during the 2013 election campaign, it is guilty of criminal neglect for failing to reform the power sector. Theft and non-payment of dues by public sector entities are all being passed on to hapless consumers in the shape of inflated bills.

Khan pointed put that the record of this government in the power sector is a stark reflection of total failure. The continuing delay in the Neelum-Jhelum project, the Nandipur fiasco, and the failed Gadani power park are all evidence of this.

In 2013, jut prior to the PMLN government taking over, the power shortfall was 3000 MW. Four years later the shortfall has increased to between 9000 – 10000 MW (acc to latest reports) – despite the grand claims in advertisements dominated by portraits of the Sharif family about how the energy crisis will soon be ending - with “soon” stretching to four years - and there is no respite in sight for the poor population confronting an early onset of summer heat and increased hours of power outages.

Khan regretted that, to add to the miseries of the consumers, the Minister concerned, Khawaja Asif, has blamed the whole energy crisis on the weather – the early onset of summer! Did he just realise we are a country that has very hot summers? He earlier admitted the shortfall was much higher last year. So again the government has been making false claims of improving the power sector.

Khan reminded that Kh Asif also admitted that the circular debt had gone up to over Rs 385 billion and was continuing to rise! To add to the absurdities of this government, the Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali has laid all the burden of the increasing circular debt on non-payments by FATA, Balochistan and AJK. Clearly he seems ignorant of the fact that FATA is directly controlled by the federal government, while AJK is also linked to the PMLN government and PMLN is in power through a coalition in Balochistan!

As if the power outages were not suffering enough for the citizens, they are being harassed through overbilling to the tune of Rs 227 billion over the last two years. Khan said this was an outrage and the government’s continuous lies and failures in the crucial power sector have shown yet again that the Sharifs have no regard or empathy for the Pakistani people and are only interested in maintaining power to transfer the nation’s wealth to their private overseas coffers.