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Business Recorder op-ed writer Farhat Ali in his latest contribution to the newspaper "Reforms in energy sector" has advanced an argument which appears to be purely technical; in my view, it is hardly a solution. According to him, for example, "What is really needed and may be of benefit is to release autonomous entities such as Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL), Pakistan Petroleum Ltd (PPL) from yoke of energy ministry. These and many similar corporations in the oil and gas sectors should be made autonomous in their profit and loss management, risk management and general management."

This suggestion is fraught with numerous risks for the country's energy security in particular. Setting these entities free from the 'yoke' of energy ministry will surely add to inefficiencies and protracted delays. That decentralization has certain disadvantages is a fact. One of the pitfalls manifests itself in diverse but poor policies and procedures.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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