Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Electricity is Public Property and Its Privatization is Forbidden in Islam

Electricity is Public Property and Its Privatization is Forbidden in #Islam

Days after the government imposed a 30 paisa per unit surcharge, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) allowed on 27 October, a 53 paisa per unit increase in electricity tariff for all distribution companies, except K-Electric. The people of Pakistan are broken by electricity crisis, not only are there shortage of electricity, with electricity cut off as much as most of the day, it has become hugely expensive. The situation is that people are paying five to ten times what they paid ten years ago, when they had twenty four hours electricity. Electricity has become expensive and in short of supply because of is privatization.

Privatization of electricity is a crime because it not only deprives the people of a great source of revenue to look after their affairs, it also means that private owners, who have limited resources, only provide electricity when they can profit. They cannot provide electricity as a service and a right for all citizens, for that is the job of a responsible and caring state. This is why privatization is directly responsible for the power shortages, the load-shedding. So, private owners reduce electricity generation to prevent falling into loss through debts owed to them. Or they reduce generation to only the more efficient power plants because they give a better profit, keeping less efficient power plants idle. So, even though Pakistan has over 20,000 MW installed capacity against a peak demand of 17,500 MW, less than half of that is produced, causing huge electricity shortages, twelve hours a day or even more, with people unable to cool themselves even by means of a fan in the scorching summer heat. And that is asides from these highly disruptive shortages destroying local industry.

As for increasing the price of electricity, it is to guarantee profits for the private owners of the power sector. The regime has already guaranteed profits on investment for private owners of power, by increasing the electricity charges many fold. It has also made sure that the private owners are paid from the revenues of the state, even when they are not generating electricity because of fuel shortages.

Electricity has become so expensive that there is now a huge circular debt owed to the private owners of power. Last summer, in July 2013, the regime paid Rupees 270 billion to the private power producers, the IPPs. This enormous amount also alerts the people to just how much wealth there is in power, which they will not see a single Rupee of. And this year as the debt mounted yet again, the regime defaulted, and power was cut off to many government institutions on 29 April 2014, including to the Ministry of Water and Power itself!

And the rulers are privatizing the Ummah’s resources, even though Islam has declared that energy is a public property for the Muslims.

RasulAllah (saw) said,

المسلمون شرکاء فی ثلاث الماء والکلاء والنار

“Muslims are partners (associates) in three things: in water, pastures and fire (energy)” [Abu Dawood]

Thus under the Khilafah, with its Islamic constitution, the benefit of electricity will be for the public, with the state supervising the matter to ensure that.

Central Contact Committee - Hizb ut-Tahrir Wilayah Pakistan


No comments: