Pakistan is presently facing a serious energy crisis. Despite strong economic growth during the past decade and consequent rising demand for energy, no worthwhile steps have been taken to install new capacity for generation of the required energy sources. Now, the demand exceeds supply and hence “load-shedding” is a common phenomenon through frequent power shutdowns. It seems that the official policy makers have failed to devise long term strategies clearly outlining the future electricity needs and projected generation.
During 2009-2010, National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), a regulatory body with a mission to provide consumers with the affordable electricity, had issued 10 electricity generation licenses and made 7 tariff determinations and 169 tariff adjustments. But in the open hearing there was no consumer body to effectively participate or monitor the process and inform the consumers about the impact of these adjustments/increases on their household expenditure. Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has also been mandated to fix prices of petroleum products in March, 2006. Furthermore, the consumer prices are being notified by OGRA on monthly basis from February, 2009. This has direct effect on electricity tariff which is also being adjusted on monthly basis.
TheNetwork aims at mobilizing consumer bodies, business chambers and market committees to proactively participate in the policy making and promotion of informed public dialogue around the policies and challenges being faced in reforming and improving the performance of energy sector with the active involvement of consumers and launch campaigns for energy conservation and specific energy sector reforms on the basis of demands articulated through a broad-based consultative process involving various stakeholders. And to activate consumer redress mechanisms within the framework of existing consumer redress manual of NEPRA and OGRA. The consumers groups will be mobilized and educated by using forums such as Consumer Protection Council under provincial consumer protection laws. Accountability and oversight of electricity and gas supplying and transmission companies by active involvement of consumer groups in open public hearings conducted by NEPRA and OGRA for issuing license or tariff determination.