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ISLAMABAD: The federal government will be enhancing supply to power to K-Electric from the national grid.

The federal government is already supplying over 650MW electricity to the power utility from national grid without any formal agreement. The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) recently decided to allocate 1200MW electricity to KE in addition to existing supply of over 650MW from national grid.

National Electric Power Authority (Nepra) is also holding a public hearing on Friday (today) on current electricity crisis which is expected to be attended by over two dozen interveners.

Prime Minister, Imran Khan also constituted a committee to deal with this issue after a detailed meeting with Governor Sindh Imran Ismail. The government's allies have threatened to part ways if situation is not rectified. Opposition parties in National Assembly are also criticizing the government for failing to ensure electricity to Karachiites.

At a recent meeting, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum contended that the KE is getting supplies of gas despite drop in gas pressure from the Karak Gas Fields. The refineries' production came down on account of oil to almost l/3rd due to prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country. It was also stated that KE had placed an order to PSO for supply of 130,000 MT in June 2020.PSO had been supplying 90,000 MT to KE as the rest of it was provided to industry.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue proposed that a comprehensive plan be prepared on account of supply and demand of KE and to present the same before the CCOE. It was proposed that the key players like KE, NEPRA, OGRA, Petroleum and Power Divisions etc may be engaged in a meeting to come up with a comprehensive plan/solution to mitigate the shortfall/load shedding of electricity. Power Division will present a report, in the next meeting of the CCoE, on the power outlook for Karachi through the rest of the summer. The report will include all aspects such as KE's requirements of oil and gas, weekly electricity projections and anticipated shortfall as well as mitigation measures planned to minimize loadshedding.

A committee under the chairmanship of SAPM on Coordination of Marketing and Development of Mineral Resources (who is also now SAPM on Power) including Secretaries of Power and Petroleum Divisions shall inquire into the causes of electricity shortage faced by Karachi in recent days with a view to ascertain whether all the entities played their due roles to avert the situation, or otherwise. The Committee will present its report in the next meeting of CCOE. Power Division will provide secretarial support to the committee.

Power Division will also submit figures of billing, collection and circular debt of power sector upto the month of May 2020 (inclusive) on the new reporting format, to the CCoE in the next meeting.

Law and Justice Division will provide a written opinion, on the roles and responsibilities of the government (Ministries/ Divisions), regulators and operators in the energy sector and whether any gaps existed which hampered smooth working of the system. The report will be submitted to CCoE within two weeks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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