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Dastgir tasked to deal with load-shedding, circular debt

ISLAMABAD: Power Division, has finally got its Federal Minister, Khurram Dastgir Khan, after almost two weeks, ...
Updated 27 Apr, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Power Division, finally got its Federal Minister, Khurram Dastgir Khan, after almost two weeks, who is tasked to deal with gigantic issues including ongoing load-shedding, circular debt, improvement in recovery and reduction in losses and much-needed power sector reforms.

Datsgir, an electrical engineer by profession was at UET Lahore (88-UET) but left in 1989 and graduated from USA. He also attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine from where he holds a degree in Economics.

He faces a number of challenges which included (i) payment of overdue amounts of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) and power plants established under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC), (ii) reduction in circular debt, which is about to touch Rs 2.6 trillion, and (iii) try to phase out whatever harsh commitments were made by his predecessor to World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank (ADB) about reduction in circular debt, increase in tariff, improvement in recovery and reduction in losses that remain unmet by the Power Division.

PM irked by power load-shedding

Power Division recently informed Asian Development Bank that it is fully committed to sector reforms that have been agreed with development partners, adding that due to high inflationary pressure and imported fuel prices, there have been some delays in approving tariff adjustments which caused higher than expected circular debt flows for FY 2022.

Circular debt flow target of Rs 167 billion may not be met by June 30, 2022. Revised CD flow projections are under preparation which will not deviate much from current targets and would be shared with ADB soon.

Power Division’s performance with respect to reduction in losses and improvement in recovery has been poor since long. The minister has to focus on both these issues with a very sound professional team. Cabinet Division has also notified Hashim Notezai as Minister for State for Power.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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