The article published on Friday discussed the governments adhoc approach on fixing existing capacity and adding new power production facilities, this piece will focus on other aspects of energy chain - distribution, transmission, pricing and prioritization. The lack of homework, poor understanding of issues, absence of integrated energy ministry and weak regulatory regime have worsened the situation despite oil and other hydrocarbons prices moving in favourable direction.
"Finance Minister Ishaq Dar should be replaced with someone who has time to address the problems of business community"; thats the statement which took the otherwise banal proceedings of the 7th All Pakistan Chambers of Commerce Presidents meeting, to newspapers across the country, past Thursday.
Ishaq Dar may have a lot less on his plate and may well be visiting Washington and Dubai less often, if the PML-N comes to power again. Well, the CM Punjab and PM Pakistan certainly think that way. As the government announced it has discovered substantial iron ore and copper reserves in Chiniot, reaking the begging bowl soon followed.
Askari Banks turnaround in recent times has been very impressive! Thanks to its take-over by Fauji Group, it can be assured that the bank now lies in professional hands. Its CY14 financials have further cemented the belief with its bottom line boasting a profit after tax of Rs4 billion in CY14 versus losses that ran over Rs5 billion in CY13.
The PML-N came into power with a promise to end the countrys energy woes within six months. At that time, they had argued that there is sufficient installed capacity and that loadshedding was simply due to mismanagement by the previous government. Since the PML-N has a rack full of management gurus, theyd step in and fix the energy sector in no time.
In such times of thinning spreads, double-digit growth from top to bottom is no mean achievement. Prudence plays a vital role in tough conditions and MCB has been pretty good at that. Sure, the PIB and Treasury bill euphoria has played its part, but credit must be given to MCB for keeping a clean(ish) book throughout the year.
The pandemonium in the energy sector is not calming down; where the power sector dues and the circular debt continues to trot their way up, the progress on the January petrol crisis has only moved in the direction where five additional senior management officials of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) have been suspended, along with OGRAs chief sent on a three-month forced leave.