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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Thursday expressed his optimism that there will be a substantial reduction in loadshedding in the coming few days as the government has started importing coal and LNG.

Speaking at a news conference here, the minister said that the government has brought the economy to stability and China has rolled over loans and provided $2.4 billion to Pakistan which led to an increase in foreign exchange reserves.

In reply to a question about the report for the delay in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, he stated that there is no hindrance in it (the IMF agreement) and hopefully there would be a positive outcome in the next few days.

The minister said that as there was a decline in ghee, petrol, and wheat prices in the international market, prices of ghee and flour would also decline in the country but did not hint at passing on their impact to the people.

The finance minister once again held the previous government responsible for the prevailing load shedding in the country and stated that the PTI had not completed the projects initiated by the PML-N government, including Trimmu and Karot power projects. The demand for electricity was over 30,000 MW before rainfall and the production was not adequate, and now the government has started producing 5,000 MW, which was not being produced due to fuel unavailability and adding 2,500 MW by making, operational, the shutdown power plants.

The minister said that the present government is producing more electricity compared to what was being produced by the previous government during the last four years, adding that the coal from Afghanistan and South Africa is being imported and LNG is also being imported LNG.

He expressed the hope that load shedding would be reduced in the next few days.

Energy our top priority, Miftah tells US team

He also mentioned about the solar policy on whom the prime minister was given a briefing earlier and a decision was taken to announce on 1st August. The minister did not hint at any decrease in petroleum prices due to the decrease in the global market and stated that an increase in diesel and petrol prices was needed.

He also came hard on the PTI’s stance against the decision taken by the Punjab government to provide relief of up to 100 units.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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