May 30, 2022: Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastgir on Monday said that the incumbent government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was making all out efforts to mitigate peoples’ problems adding that there was no proposal under consideration to enhance power tariff next month.
Addressing a press conference, the Minister said the government was committed to fulfilling energy need of the country. The coalition cabinet was taking all possible steps to resolve issues being face by the general public, he said.
He said the primary shortfall of power was 2275 MW at 02:00 pm while total power generation stood at 18,844 MW, he said.
He said today power shortfall was recorded due to fault at Neelum Jhelum Transmission Line. The fault caused disruption of around 1300 MW from Neelum Jhelum and Karot Hydropower Projects to the national grid resulting power outage, he said.
He said fault was being rectified power supply from the said power plants would be restored shortly. The 720 MW Karot Hydropower Project which was launched by PML-N government in 2016 under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would start full generation by next month, he added. The plant has already started supplying 360 MW to the national grid.
The minister said that there was sufficient installed power generation capacity in the country. However, financial crisis inherited by the coalition government due to past ruler Imran Khan was also another cause of power shortage, he said.
The minister that total circular debt was Rs 1060 billion on May 31, 2018 which has soared to Rs 2460 billion in last 4 years due to inefficiency of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.
He said the PM would soon announce a comprehensive plan for energy sector and its focus would be on solar and indigenous local Thar coal. The government was taking bold steps to reduced dependency on expensive imported fuels which prices have been increased manifold at the international market. The current coal power plants would also be converted on local Thar coal to save precious foreign reserves, he added.
Khurram said all power distribution companies (DISCOs) were directed to nominate an official for every 300 consumers so they could be kept informed timely about power related issues.
The minister said that the people have totally rejected politics of agitation and chaos adding that there was dire need to promote tolerance in country’s politics.
He said the next general elections were expected to be held in October next year.
Replying to a question, the minister said that the load-management could be ended within 48 hours but subject to provision of required resources to the power sector. The government has made all power plants functional which were closed during PTI’s rule.
He said gas load was being procured despite high prices at the international market.
To another question, he said RLNG based Trimun power plant would achieve commercial operations date (CoD) in few months.