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When discussing investments for economic progress, some major industry players often receive well-deserved recognition.

The power sector, however, that stands out as an essential enabler for the entire economic landscape and serves as the lifeline that keeps a country running smoothly, gets to be though counted amongst the major industry players, but not above them for the very significant responsibility that it has for being their élan vital.

This attitude is not in tune with the economic interests of the country as globally every successful economy has the pulsating energy sector empowering its initiatives.

Pakistan currently stands at a critical juncture where its inadequate infrastructure and growing power demands have led to conflicting issues such as recovery losses, dependence on imported fuel, and soaring tariffs, resulting in heavy billing, something that has been up for constant discussions.

What the power sector needs is urgent and substantial investments from public and private sector to be able to address these challenges via a robust infrastructure, updated technology, lower tariffs, etc. to bring the country at par with developed economies.

Overall, investing in power companies is an investment in the present and future well-being of a nation, its economy, and its environment. Public and private resources should be strategically allocated to ensure that power companies have the capacity and capability to meet the ever-growing energy demands and evolving sustainability goals. This can be done through investment in infrastructure, research and developmental initiatives, policy frameworks and capacity building programs, all to strengthen the power sector.

This is a genuine problem, but it can be addressed through careful consideration and dialogue. A way out needs to be considered through indigenization, shift to renewables and stronger recovery.

While all distribution companies (DISCOS) are actively seeking solutions, K-Electric, as the sole vertically integrated power utility, “has embarked on a well-defined Investment Plan with a clear vision for growth along its distribution and transmission business.”

The power company is committed to reducing costs and increasing its share of renewables by up to 30% to the aggregate total envisioned generation capacity of 2,172 MW., It’s crucial to recognize that Pakistan’s energy and power sector heavily relies on imported fuel, and fluctuations in global fuel prices directly impact consumer tariffs and the nation’s overall economy.

Why is a power provider above the others in terms of significance? Let’s open a small window to see why investment is a dire need in the power industry.

A reliable and sustainable power supply is critical for the stability and growth of any economy. Adequate investments in power companies can help ensure energy security, reducing the risk of power shortages and blackouts, which can disrupt industries, businesses, and daily life.

Investments in power infrastructure enable businesses to operate efficiently, attract foreign investments, create jobs, and stimulate economic activity. This can be seen because uninterrupted and efficient power supply helps businesses to operate seamlessly and symbolizes a conducive environment, which in turn can attract foreign investment.

Similarly, investing in the energy sector can lead to many new jobs in power plants, grid networks and in sectors like construction, maintenance, and engineering.

In an era of climate change and environmental concerns, investments in power companies can facilitate the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, reducing the environmental impact of electricity generation.

Pakistan also needs power to be available across its landscape. Developed economies have made heavy investments in their power industries to upgrade infrastructure, enhance sustainability and ensure reliability.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Zia Ul Islam Zuberi

The writer is a well-known columnist


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