Finance ministry releases Rs 15 billion to overcome power shortfall


Finance ministry releases Rs 15 billion to overcome power shortfall

ISLAMABAD: Finance ministry has released a sum of Rs 15 billion to ministry of water and power to ensure provision of fuel to thermal power plants to overcome energy crisis.

The decision for provision of this amount was taken in a meeting held under the care taker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso Tuesday. The finance ministry would release more 7.5 billion rupees to ministry of water and power this month as per decision besides arranging Rs 42 billion next month on this count.The release of this amount would ensure continuity of fuel supply to the thermal power plants enabling them to generate power in conformity with their potential.

It may be mentioned when PPP led coalition government came into power the power shortfall stood at 3000 megawatt and circular debt run into around 250 billion rupees. The government soon after its installation claimed that it would end load shedding by December, 2009. But these claims proved only empty slogans and the problem aggravated further. On the contrary , the circular debit surged to Rs 600 billion and power shortfall escalated to 6000 megawatts.The citizens of Lahore have to face power outage duration for 16 hours daily in urban areas and 21 hours in rural localities.

Energy sector experts warned if no emergency arrangements were made by the new government then it would become hard for the people to spend summer days. They opined that government would have to introduce duty free policy for the period ranging between 5 to 10 years for the private sector to import power generation machinery. Payments of billion of rupees will also have to be made to gas and oil marketing companies immediately.

PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif is contemplating to import 10000 megawatt electricity from India. PML-N led government will consider seriously to evolve short term and long term strategy to import 1000 megawatt electricity from India to over come power outage.The sources confirmed that it was feasible to import power from India, Iran and Central Asian States.A top functionary of World Bank based in Islamabad told Online that bank had worked out feasibility report with regard to import of electricity form India and 1000 megawatt electricity could be imported from India in the next two years. – OnlineNews