Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said the government was buying electricity at Rs25 per unit from power producers but providing to the public at Rs9 per unit.
Addressing people after opening a shopping mall, he said the government was aware of problems of the people of Pakistan after the rising shortfall of electricity.
“We know that load shedding has made lives of people difficult. Unemployment is on the rise and there is shortage of drinking water but unfortunately water level has receded in dams and electricity is not being generated as required.”
He said in the situation demonstrations and protests by people are legitimate. He dispelled rumours that China was ready to provide electricity to Pakistan at Rs500 for a house and said it would require at least five years to set up poles between the two countries.
Kaira said all resources were being utilised to end load shedding, adding that the PPP-led government allocated Rs422 billion in the 2012-13 budget to provide subsidy on electricity while in the previous fiscal year this amount was Rs50 billion. He said work on several energy projects including Bhasha Dam, Thar coal, Neelam, Kohala and Solar energy was in progress and the duration of load shedding would be reduced soon.
He said the country was also facing the consequences of blocking Nato supplies. “If we clash with the superpower, the nation will have to face its fallout,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.
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