ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar has said that the electricity situation has been resolved and that the government would be rolling out a new set of reforms for the energy sector over the next month in two stages.
Addressing a press conference late on Tuesday night, the Minister said that the country had crossed 12000 MW of shortfall which had been brought back to the 9000 MW level.
He said that the crisis was resolved after the government released funds for a fuel switch for the power generating companies. He added that currently, the country’s dependable generative capacity stood at 14000 MW.
He said that the government was ensuring supply to power generating companies and clearing out outstanding dues. Qamar clarified that as per directives there were no more ‘sacred cows’ and any one, be it the Prime Minister or the President, their power would be cut for non-payment.
Energy Sector reforms
Qamar said that the government had felt the need for reform in the energy sector and hence had released executables to that effect, some of which will be implemented in the next 48 hours.
Qamar said that the government had decided to appoint professional CEOs and CFOs at all DISCOs while all GENCOs would have a high powered board setup.
He further said that the government would be handing ONM contracts to private sector for management.
Qamar said that a new plan for bill collection will be implemented and the old format of “business as usual” will be done away with.
Clarifying the circular debts of provinces, Qamar said that no IPP had been closed due to cut in fuel supplies, neither are any plants in Karachi shut due to non-payment of dues. Furthermore, he said that Sindh had cleared all its power bills.
The federal minister criticised the Pakistan Muslim League–N government over the recent riots. He said that the riots betrayed a pre-planned action rather than genuine public agitation. He said that if the sitting government of Punjab were to support the protesters in their vandalism, then they push the country towards lawlessness.
Gilani briefs President on power sector measures
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday night and briefed him about the steps afoot to avert the energy crises and power outages in the country.
The President during the meeting urged for urgent measures to end the continued loadshedding in the country.
He expressed the hope that the recent initiatives by the government will provide relief to the people and help reduce power outages across the country.
2 holidays a week, shutters down by 9pm
The Water and Power Ministry earlier prepared a set of recommendations to deal with the electricity crisis in the country, Express 24/7 reported on Tuesday.
The suggestions will be presented in the next cabinet session.
The ministry has proposed two holidays in a week and closure of commercial centres by 9pm.
It has also recommended that the use of air conditioners in government offices before 11 in the morning should be discontinued and ministry employees, who are involved in power theft shall be terminated from service.
However, sources confirmed that no decision has been taken regarding the increasing power tariff in the country.
As reported earlier, unannounced loadshedding for long durations forced people to come out on the streets in several cities of Punjab.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif accused the federal government of deliberate power cuts in the province, while PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif directed his party to support street protests.
More in Business2010 Floods: Emphasising accountability