ISLAMABAD: Cabinet Division has advised Power Division to seek comments of Finance Division on the summary of Rs 100million supplementary grant meant to launch a public awareness campaign about conservation of energy, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

Power Division, sources said, has prepared a summary saying that during the ongoing summer season, the country’s power system is facing a supply shortfall in the range of 6000 to 7000 MW, primarily due to less water availability in the reservoirs and abnormal increase in international oil prices having a direct impact on the supply of oil, RLNG, and coal.

The sources said that because of these limiting factors, hydel generation is currently restricted to about 5500 MW whereas supply chains of RLNG and coal have been disrupted thus making it impossible to run the respective gas-based and coal-based plants at full capacity.

Power Division has claimed that to cope with the negative impacts of this shortfall, the Division is working on a two-pronged strategy both on the supply side and on the demand side. On the supply side, Power Division and other ministries are trying to ensure and increase fuel supplies for an enhanced generation.

On the demand side, the focus is on the conservation of power to cut wasteful excess usage. Accordingly, there is a need to educate the general public about this requirement of conservation through a well-thought-out campaign. In this regard, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while chairing a meeting on load management on July 1, 2022, instructed to launch an effective media campaign.

Campaign on energy conservation: Power Division seeks Rs100m supplementary grant

Power Division is accordingly working with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the development of an awareness campaign to be run on electronic and print media.

The sources maintained that as per the current budgetary allocation of the Power Division (demand number 36) for FY 2022-23, a total of Rs500,000 have been allocated under the head “Advertising and Publicity – 03907” which is not sufficient to meet any expenses on a mass awareness campaign. As per the initial estimate, an amount of Rs100 million shall be required to run the campaign.

The sources further stated that Power Division has sought an amount of Rs100 million as a supplementary grant in its favor under the relevant head.

Cabinet Division in its comments has stated that in the light of rule 18(4) read with rules 23(4) of the Rules of Business, 1973, views/ comments of the Finance Division have not been obtained and added to the summary which is essential to make an informed decision by the ECC.

Power Division has been requested to re-submit the summary after obtaining comments from the Finance Division.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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