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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Wednesday that the incumbent government is formulating its policies in the light of available financial resources.

During a press conference he defended withdrawal of previous slab benefit of domestic consumers saying that domestic consumers using 50 units or 100 units monthly are still protected. He said subsidy is being extended to 2.3 million consumers.

Dastigir said prices of furnace oil, coal and LNG have increased by 400 percent and LNG is not available in the international market despite massive hike in its prices. Pakistan wants to purchase LNG but it is not available.

He said financial impact of exemption from FCA on 300 units will be Rs 42 billion. The miniister announced that the government has decided to optimally utilize indigenous sources of energy instead of relying on expensive imported fuel for generation of electricity.

He said shifting the electricity generation on indigenous sources will lessen burden on national exchequer and provide cheap electricity to consumers.

Provincial govts can bear FPA cost to provide relief to consumers: experts

He further said the indigenous sources of energy in Pakistan are solar, wind, hydel, coal and nuclear which are not only cost effective but also environment friendly.

He said bidding of a 600 megawatt pilot solar project is being completed and other renewable energy sources are expected to add 11000 megawatts electricity to the national grid in the coming years.

He said solar projects of 1-4 MW will be established on the premises of existing grid stations.

He said Pakistan’s friendly countries are also interested in solar energy projects and government is also weighing their offers for an agreement on the basis of least cost benchmark, adding that domestic investors are also welcome.

“We are also evaluating inter-governmental agreements to install solar projects on a transparent mechanism,” he added.

Dastgir said the government has also planned to initiate solar power projects in rural areas while the government will install solar system in buildings and agricultural tube wells will also be solarized.

He said currently the government is working on a number of power projects which will add 2000 megawatts electricity to the national grid by next year.

He maintained that the only way to reduce electricity price is addition of cheap generation from wind, solar or Thar coal to the system on war footings.

The minister said a 1320 megawatt Shanghai Thar Coal pPower project will be completed by the end of this year.

Replying to a question, he said that PTI government’s budget deficit was Rs 5600 billion during FY 2021-22, which was main reason for Pakistan’s “bankruptcy” as the former government did not take responsible decisions like revision of electricity rates.

Power sector circular debt recorded at Rs 2.467 trillion as of March 31, 2022 during the tenure of the PTI government despite the fact that no capacity was added to the system.

The incumbent government has brought down circular debt to Rs 2.250 trillion after paying Rs 258 billion.

“We want to further reduce circular debt to make Pakistan viable internationally,” he continued. Dastgir accused Imran Khan “megaphone diplomacy” in international affairs for Pakistan’s reputation in tatters.

“Whether you talk to IMF, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, USA, China or Turkey, Imran Khan has ruined the reputation of Pakistan,” he said adding that due to Imran Khan’s irresponsible attitude Pakistan faced difficulties and is still experiencing problems.

He said that previous government had the option to bring Karoot hydropower project in the system by expediting the process.

Dastgir argued that the PTI government failed to operationalize indigenous fuel based projects like Haveli Bahadar Shah project, Shanghai Thar Coal project, Karoot Hydropower project of Sukki Kinari Hydropower project, adding that incumbent government will operate these projects.

He said when the present Assembly will complete its term in August 2023, Pakistan will be in a far better position and prosperous.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Comments

Comments are closed.

Hussain Sep 15, 2022 09:45am
People read newspapers for their insight and having the finger on the pulse, so to speak. This article is simply a series of "he said". We can read "he said" of Twitter. It is making sense of what "he said" we read newspapers. Was he lying, bending the truth and how?
thumb_up Recommended (0)
anonymous Sep 15, 2022 12:15pm
he dastagir - is just another franchisee beggar
thumb_up Recommended (0)

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