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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power Engineer Khurram Dastagir on Friday expressed the confidence that there would be visible reduction in power load-shedding during next 10 days after increased fuel supply and plants’ maintenance.

Addressing a maiden presser along with Minister for State Hashim Notezai here, the minister said, “the power plants will resume getting RLNG supply from May 1 while the required quantity of furnace oil will also be available from May 2.”

He said lack of fuel supply and closures of power plants for maintenance were main reasons of power load-shedding across the country. Several power plants with accumulative capacities of 5,739 MW were closed due to shortage of fuel supply including RLNG, coal and furnace oil while some plants having 2156 MW were shut down for routine and technical maintenance, he said.

He said from May 1, situation would gradually improve as 300 MW Engro Power Plant and Port Qasim Power Plants would come into the system.

He said the past government did not timely arrange fuel for the power plants causing power outage.

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The minister said the incumbent government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was making all out efforts to curtail the menace of load-shedding. Teams have already been constituted in all power distribution companies (DISCOs) for prompt addressal of the complaints during Eid, he added.

He said leaves of staff have already been cancelled to cope with any untoward situation. Revenue targets would be given to all DISCOs while law regarding power pilferage would be enforced, he added.

The Minister said the DISCOs have been directed to install all pending connections and ensured prompt addressal of consumers’ complaints.

Khurram Dastagir regretted violation of sanctity of Masjid e Nabvi (Peace Be Upon Him) and said it was a very unfortunate incident. He appreciated the Saudi authorities for taking immediate action.

Responding to a question, the minister said duration of load-shedding would become half in next 10 days. An amount of Rs 108 billion would be needed till May 25, Rs 136 billion till June 7 and Rs 85 billion till June 15 for power sector to cope with the load-shedding crisis, he said.

To another question, the minister said that there was zero load-shedding in the country when PML-N government completed its five years tenure on May 31, 2018.

To a question, he said board of directors of DISCOs would be revisited. Agreement with K-Electric was on at advanced stage, he added.

Replying to separate questions, the minister said the circular debt has surged to Rs 2460 billion which was Rs 1060 billion during PML-N past tenure.

He said low efficient power plants would be phased out with energy efficient plants.

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