Karachi: The government may have been confident about increasing power generation this year, but the rising generator imports suggest that people are bracing themselves to deal with load-shedding in the summer.
Generator imports rose to $199.4 million in January 2014 from $116m in December 2013. The figure was just $95m in January 2013.
In the last seven months, imports went up by 6.3 per cent to $643.5m from $605m in July-January 2012-2013.
Pakistan Machinery Importers Group President Khurram Saigol said that February imports also remain brisk to cover up sales season starting from April to July.
Sometimes agents of many companies also import higher quantities of generators to meet past commitments. Due to higher incidence of duties, smuggling of generators is rampant in peak business season, he said.
According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), import of generators fell to $977.4m in 2012-2013 from $1.039 billion in 2011-2012 and $1.038bn in 2010-2011. In overall imports, 1-10 KVA generators hold 40pc share.
Site Association of Industry chairman Younus M. Bashir said it was a good sign that the government is giving priority to power generation projects in the long term, but nothing was being done in a big way in the short term.
He believed that adding 500-700 MW this year may not do any wonder for the nation as overall shortfall of power is very high. “Power supply situation will definitely improve but it will take time, maybe two to three years,” he added.
North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry (NKATI) President Mehmood Rangoonwala was hopeful that load-shedding timings would decline this year compared to last year’s because of ongoing efforts to raise power generation through various resources.
As for monthly generator imports, the last highest figure was $256m recorded in December 2011.