Government Fails in Solving Natural Gas Shortage Issues Once Again

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burnerAnother year have passed, 2014 is ending soon but problems of People of Pakistan are still very much same. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) which came in power after making so much promises to Pakistani people have been unable to pay attention to more important issues. Major Problems Pakistani People are facing right now are related to Power and Natural Gas Shortage. Natural Gas Shortage was very much severe in last year had to be better this year according to ruling party PML-N as they were planning to import Liquid Natural Gas(LNG) in Dec 2014 and put on National household consumer distribution pipelines.

But as we are approaching the December 2014, latest from government is they will not be able to import LNG before Feb or even March 2015. The house hold consumers are already feeling the chilled burners effect. Specially on days when CNG is open for vehicles. As we will go into further cold weather in winter season which is only just starting, there will be much more problems like last years.

Current PML-N led government seems no better than any previous government as its making and breaking the promises with Pakistani people in same fashion as previous Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had been doing. If Nawaz and his fellows have to come back in power after next elections they must immediately put full attention to two biggest issues of Power and Gas Shortage.

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Electricity Load Shedding in Pakistan continues even in winter 2014 even with new PMLN led government

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Sunset in background of electricity poles

Its winter 2o14, a new political party is in Power as result of elections held in early 2013. Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) which had done many promises with people of Pakistan including the resolving the power, gas and other kinds of energy crisis in Pakistan during their tenure.

Now its more than half a year but people have not got any relief yet. Pakistan is observing a load shedding which is even worse than last year. In urban areas this load shedding is 10 hours day and in rural areas it ranges from 12 to 18 hours a day. Government first claimed that all of this load shedding is due to annual canal closure but recently a news reported that Government have payed off held payments to some of power companies. So here definitely PML-N led government is hiding facts from people.

People are fed up with this load shedding in long hours even in winter when the country wide demand of Power is only 11000 Megawatts (MW), it is believed that things would be much worse in summer season when the overall countrywide demand of electricity is 16000 MW or above. Despite lots of big claims in election campaign by Sharif brothers, they have not been able to control the power crisis. Only thing they have done is increased the power tariffs drastically with most impact coming on segments which are using 100 to 300 units of electricity.

Lots of more power projects are being announced and its claimed that work is underway on lots, but the existing capacity is well above the required 11000 MW (Current Demand), but its somehow not being generated. Still the future promises and lollipops are being given to people.

According to a Wikipedia Article Pakistan have installed capacity of 21000 MW and Pakistan can generate electricity of minimum 14000 to 16000 megawatts easily. I have witnessed Pakistan generating 15500 or above MWs of electricity in last summer. So generating the 11000 MW in winter must be peace of cake. Just these politicians here don’t want public to come out of darkness otherwise this country is gifted with so much natural resources like coal, oil, gas and more by Allah. Only need is use them for betterment of nation. Same Wikipedia Article linked above states that Pakistan have capacity of generating 140,000 MW of electricity with just the winds blowing over its soil.

Hope these leaders get fair and provide people’s rights to them. People must also know how to demand what they deserve. This would be done by, first asking for the rights and asking questions from governing authorities, secondly by choosing the right people who can really change the fate of nation. Not choosing those who have already been tried and have not shown any good results in their tenure. On same time we hope that current government would realize soon that they would be voted again only if they solve the problems of people like Electricity Load Shedding, Gas Shortage, Law ‘n’ Order and much more.

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PMLN led government fails to deal with Gas and Power shortage issues in winter season

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burner with low gas pressure - Gas ShortageYear 2013 have almost ended, we are approaching 2014 with just two days remaining. The ruling party this year have changed but the problems of people of Pakistan are still the same. Winter season is on rise with chilling weather, temperatures are dropping and people are out of gas in their burners and stoves.

PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) won elections this year with huge number of votes and they have stunning majority in Federal government as well as in Punjab (the highest populated province). Means the people have showed their full confidence in PML-N as they had made lots of promises about dealing with power and electricity shortages.

Here we are people of Pakistan having same of those issues. Its not one city or province, whole country is dealing with the severe shortage of Gas which also forces to stop the gas power electricity generation plants so people of Pakistan are not only facing problem of no gas in their stoves but also they are facing 6 to 8 hours of electricity load shedding.

Things were bad in Zardari Led Pakistan Peoples Party’s Era but they are gone worse in this Nawaz led PML-N era. They have imposed tons of new taxes as they came in power, they have increased the prices or petroleum products and specially major increase in electricity tariffs. That means they are sucking more juice out of Pakistani People but they have very less to offer. They have been unable to deal with the Gas shortage. Pakistan Iran gas pipeline was a project which have been in development earlier but now its fully stopped by PML-N government and they keep showing some pricing concerns over it. If that is not workable the nawaz led ruling team must have some solution for people’s problems.

PML-N had claimed before elections that they would deal with all problems of country but now they seem clue less, only they did so far is protecting the rich and nothing much is done for solving the problems of general public. Natural Gas situation is so bad the domestic consumers have not gas in stoves, Industry is getting gas for few hours daily, CNG gas filling stations for vehicles are closed in Punjab and they open for 3 to 4 days in other provinces and see miles long lines of people waiting to get some cheap fuel. Power sector is getting very less gas so people have to face 6 to 8 hours of load shedding and that is the condition of urban areas, people of rural areas which are 70% of total Pakistani population are deprived of electricity for 12 to 16 hours daily, sometimes even more.

May be things will get better near next elections again, but next time when you are voting do keep in mind that how were the first three to four years of government. Meanwhile, its also best time for PML-N to fix the things, deal with shortages, inflation, deteriorating currency and other major issues people are facing.

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No Call or SMS Packages for Pakistanis from now on, says PTA

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banned-by-ptaThrough an official notification Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have notified all mobile operators in Pakistan to immediately discontinue all Call or SMS packages, which are being provided to customers. Also this letter gives a deadline of 2 September to all the operates, to comply and fill back a compliance report. Otherwise some action could be taken against them. This apparently is the second notification, as it is mentioned in it that earlier it was officially notified but all operators just ignored it. Also that old letter mentioned as it was issued in 2012. Was PTA sleeping for all those eight months and suddenly, they woke up and came to know that these packages are still being provided. These were openly being advertised on all TV, Radio channels, news papers as well as websites of all operators.

Is it PTA, which just woke up suddenly and stopping operators from offering low cost services to Pakistanis,  or it is that incompetent minister Anusha Rehman, who have bad habit of just making news and doing much less, speaking through PTA to telecom operators. Even, if she is not involved, then she can at least take an action on this and stop this nonsense. After all whats bad or ugly in giving the low services to people. If you think people will misuse these services if given on low rate, then you are thinking very negative, end user must decide how to or how not to use the services. Everything is intended for positive use, negative use of anything is deadly but everything is still made available over to the people so that people could benefit from it.

I have previous heard this word “moral guardian” being used for PTA, this is not their job. They need to make available every technology available to people not guard people against alleged evils.

At this point I would like to ask this question, Dear PTA and IT & Telecom Ministry, where is my 3G/4G auction. Why don’t you put your attention off from parenting and put it to some good use like arranging the long awaited 3G (leave it, its old) or 4G (Recommended) auction.

The current Pakistan Muslim league – Nawaz (PML-N) government first increased the taxes on cell phone usage and now blocking the call or sms packages, so that no low cost services are available to Pakistanis. Even the latest technologies like 3G or 4G are not being allowed in Pakistan like previous government. They delayed auction many time and now new government as well is not doing any different. Youtube which could be very beneficial for Professionals, students and Jobless individuals, is not being allowed in Pakistan as well. Do block Blasphemous links but do provide us rest of site.

So what I conclude is, whatever, we are left with is being taken away from us. Either these are daily used stuff, basic needs or these services. The newly elected PML-N is no different than previous governments, they also need to learn from past and do push hard to the positive side.

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UPDATE: A spokesman from PTA today clarified that by “Chat packages (Call and SMS)” we did not meant the Call and SMS bundle offers, we just meant ban on Chat Room Services. Detailed information about this misunderstanding about call and sms services is here.

First impression suggests newly elected PML-N government is good for nothing

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turmoil, crisisPakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) is political party of Pakistan which came into power via general elections held on 11th may 2013. People of Pakistan were fed up by all the pathetic policies of previous Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government, due the problems they faced like lack of education and health facilities, worst load shedding and lack of even food for less prevailed people of Pakistan who are below the poverty line.

Pakistan Muslim League government in their election campaign made loads of promises with people of Pakistan, all promises concluded to the point as if the PML-N comes into the power, they will give relief to less privileged people and specially those who are below the poverty line. PML-N, a party run by Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif (the Sharif Brothers) have already been in power for many times in Punjab province, and two times they held federal office. For last two times when PML-N was in power in center they were not able to complete their term of five years and they had to leave federal office after just three years. Except two transportation mega projects of building two motorways M1 and M2 which connect cities like Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore via three lane road for each side of traffic, PML-N have got nothing on their portfolio for those two times. They also claim that they made Pakistan atomic power, but the point is Pakistan had already 20 years ago successfully tested their atomic capability and those five underground blasts can’t be put on PML-N portfolio because they were built and were there with Pakistanis from long ago.

Getting forward with story PML-N had somehow an excuse that those previous two times their government was not allowed to complete given term of five years so they were not able to deliver well. Lots of people rejected this idea and decided to go for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI: Movement for Justice), a political party headed by a former cricketer Imran Khan, captain of Pakistan team of 1992 which won the only One Day International (ODI) world cup won by Pakistan. He is graduate of Oxford, also runs a world class charity cancer hospital in Pakistan which treats 50% of patients free of cost. So mostly the highly educated people and overseas Pakistanis decided to go for PTI but there were others who wanted to give another chance to PML-N and they were more in numbers.

Somehow, on election day the PML-N took first position with vote bank of whooping 15 million followed by PTI with 7.5 million votes and PPP getting third based on votes around 45 million. PML-N took both the Federal government and also the government of most populated province with holds 60% of Pakistani population.

Despite all that trust people who put in PML-N, after being elected on 11 May 2013, so far the policy of PML-N does not seem doing justice to all those promises made by PML-N in election campaign not so long ago. Its a complete story about how things started go shaky from stable from PML-N after they were elected.

Electricity

Before elections PML-N have been conveying that will throw away the electricity shortage in just first two to three years of their term in federal office, but as soon as they took charge of office, Nawaz claimed that the promise of fixing electricity issues in just two to three years was just some words which were expressed in momentum of speech, issue is lot bigger. Straight away after coming in power they hinted the nation that they are not going to resolve one of core issues of electricity shortage and load shedding for 12 to 18 hours in hot days, any sooner.

Later on the federal minister of water and power stated that electricity shortage is problem of 15 years and will take time in being resolved.  The facts are really different than what they have been telling Pakistan already have production capability over 21 thousand megawatts and in worst hot days the demand or usage reaches just to 18 thousand megawatts. Real problem here is circular debt, which means some richer with bigger influences and some govt organizations do not pay bills on time, some of them are defaulters from many years, but due to corruption on government level no one takes action against them. By the way, due to these defaulters not paying bills, Wapda can not gather even the costs so they don’t pay to power companies, power companies in turn can’t pay to fuel providers resulting in a big portion of plants being shutdown all the time.

Some recent governments including current government other than fixing the problem from root, just do invest few hundred billion rupees every now and then from government’s treasury, the money gathered from people of Pakistan via taxes. The real solution would be to get hold of non payers, lock the defaulter factories/organizations or just cut their power till they pay their bills. Unfortunate fact is that like previous governments current PML-N government doesn’t seem any serious in dealing defaulters and just making fools out of people of Pakistan.

Budget for Fiscal year 2013 – 2014 and excessive taxes

Soon the Nawaz government took federal office, they prepared the budget for 2013-2014 and soon made it public via speech of federal finance minister Ishaq Dar. This budget was again a big disappointment for common man. Lots of promises which were made in pre election speeches of Sharif brothers were not fulfilled at all and lots of things were actually contradicting badly with election campaign of PML-N.

PML-N in pre election campaign had stated that they will give an instant relief to common man, specially people who are below poverty line, instead in election government increased the sales tax from 16% to 17% which directly impacts common man. Also they decided to remove all subsidies from electric supply, also instant price hikes are being seen in all forms of fuels, petroleum products, power and CNG etc.

PML-N had promised the laborers that their minimum pays will be increased to Rs. 18000 (150 USD) from current Rs. 6000 (60 USD) but nothing like that was seen in budget, which was disappointment for lots of people. That minimum limit was not raised even a Rupee. Similarly, PML-N Government declared that inflation rate of last year was 15% in Pakistan, also they set target of 8% for this year, but still they initially does not increased a single rupee in government employees salary in budget and pensions of previously retired govt employees were increased just 10%. Later on when people started withdrawing the support PML-N announced 10% increase in salaries of public sector employees. So final appraisal was like 10% increase of salaries and pensions, which is nothing if we keep the current inflation rates in view. Real Inflation figures are much more higher than the ones government declared officially.

Talking of taxes, collectively on cell phone users the tax was 29.5%, which was 10% Withholding tax or the advanced income tax and 19.5% was Federal Excise Duty (FED). Current PML-N Government increased it to 34.5% with 5% increase in withholding tax (WHT). Theoretically the WHT is advanced income tax which can be adjusted in annual income tax statement but the issue is government imposed these taxes on prepaid well which are also being used by people who have lower incomes and they don’t even come in tax net, so they don’t have a way to get back the 15% extra money which they would have paid as withholding tax.

Another thing in budget, in which government made itself look like they are giving benefit to people was 100% tax rebate on import of hybrid vehicles up to 1200cc, late we came to know that not much of any car exist in that CC range which will be of any benefit for people of Pakistan, keeping in view the affordability and benefits after that like saving fuel. So basically this was also an attempt to make fools of Pakistani people.

Also PML-N had promised the youngsters in their election campaign, that they will release loans with no interests to youngsters, which they can use to setup new businesses and built their homes etc. Budget revealed that no interest loans would only be up to Rs. 50,000 (500 USD) and above that the interest rate of 8% would be applicable. 50 thousand is nothing for building home or starting business as promised, a very average kind of low end home in a city costs at least 8 million Rupees (80,000 USD) in Pakistan.

Lots of bigger businesses are already pulling out of Pakistan, Siemens had already pulled out in tenure of last government, HSBC Bank is already pulling out and now as PML-N took charge Internet Service Provider (ISP) LinkDotNet have also started pulling out of country officially, due to government policies which favor another telecom giant called Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL) in the country.  PTCL was previously government owned but now already have been privatized and Etiolated manages it. On a side note PTCL have wider spectrum of services but have most pathetic customer support, which makes it useless for people. Still unfortunately situation tells that it would be only option for Pakistanis in near future.

So the performance of PML-N till now is nothing less that unsatisfactory, I still want to give them time, so that they could make things right, otherwise getting out of federal office will surely be their fate exactly as Pakistan Peoples Party is doing after a real bad defeat in recent elections. May Allah Bless Pakistan.

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