Searching scapegoats

It is customary in Pakistan’s political culture that for the bad and egoistic decisions of political leadership government functionaries pay the price. The political leadership takes such decisions merely for self aggrandizement and deriving political mileage. Huge financial losses that accrued because of premature inauguration of Tarbella Tunnel-4 in March 2018 at the tail end of PML-N government is another example of  bad political decision imposed on WAPDA authorities for which scapegoats will be searched. It may recalled that it was the hasty decision of Z.A Bhutto government of first filling the Tarbella dam reservoir to full capacity and then discharging the maximum storage to save the dwellers of few houses, who refused to evacuate, posed grave threat to the dam structure in 1975.

The investigation committee, constituted by the Prime Minister, has unanimously determined that the total execution losses of 1410 megawatt Tarbella extension project stand at $753.7 million. The investigation committee has submitted its report to the Prime Minister. It will be sheer injustice that heads of government functionaries are rolled for an ill-conceived political decision. In 2016, the oldest leading English daily newspaper published a report of its Topi area correspondent about the bad quality of construction work of the project. The contract given to a particular foreign country was also politically motivated. The history of the country tells about a number decisions which covertly imposed by political leadership which has made the power sector a sinking ship. The power purchase agreements of the Benazir Bhutto second government with Independent Power Producers and the ones made by the last PML-N government with Chinese companies are devouring billions of rupees of taxpayers’ money every month. The Ministry of energy issued the other day Sukuk Islamic Bonds worth Rs.200 billion to partially pay off circular debt that the governments owes to Independent Power Producers, oil and gas utility companies. Power sector circular debt has mounted to Rs. 1.2 trillion over the past five years because of the shady power purchase agreements of PPP and PML-N governments. How long the government functionaries and people will bear the brunt of selfish decisions that are taken by the ruling political leaderships?

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The Frontier Post