Saturday, September 18, 2010

Electricity theft

Sir: A feudal said the other day, “You guys in Karachi are living in a paradise, you have only three hours’ power breakdowns daily. We in interior Sindh have to live 18 hours a day without electricity.” This man steals electricity to run the tube-wells on his farms, and the meters in his house are rigged to show only a fifth of the power consumed. He has never paid income tax, since all his income is from agriculture. Most of his workers are paid only Rs 2,000 a month. However, he cannot understand that his town’s poverty is due to the rampant electricity theft, avoidance of taxes and exploitation of labour. I told him that I have to pay through my nose for electricity, water and domestic servants. And despite paying a hefty portion of our earnings on taxes and spending so much on daily necessities, we still have to suffer power outages and water shortages. So why should anyone complain about our ‘comfortable’ lives?

Daily Times, September 18, 2010