ISLAMABAD: Amidst power outages going on in different parts of the country, the federal cabinet on Wednesday accorded formal approval to exempt only Sehr and Iftar timings from loadshedding in Ramazan.
Loadshedding during the remaining hours would, however, be observed as per routine in Ramazan, starting by the mid of May.
According to official sources, the weekly cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reviewed in detail the possibility to grant complete exemption from loadshedding throughout the country during the month of Ramazan but arrived at the decision that the said proposal was not implementable.
The cabinet then reverted to the original decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) to exempt only Sehr (pre-dawn) and Iftar (breaking of fast) timings from loadshedding.
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An official source told The Express Tribune that granting complete exemption from loadshedding to the entire country was not possible during Ramazan or any other month.
“There are areas in all the four provinces, the tribal belt, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan with remarkably high line losses -- involving electricity theft, non-payment of bills and related issues.
How can we assure that those areas would get undisrupted electricity?” the source said.
He claimed the government is producing surplus electricity but it is distributed mainly in areas where line losses do not exceed 10 per cent.
On April 3, during the CCoE meeting, the prime minister directed the Power Division to “ensure that all units of the existing power plants remain online and there is no power interruption during Sehr and Iftar timings”.
Meanwhile, the cabinet accorded approval to the Special Forces Training Agreement between Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and Pakistan Army for training in Nigeria.
The cabinet ratified recommendation of the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) in respect of proposed amendments in Rule 26 of the Drug (Licensing, Registering & Advertising) Rule, 1976 and Amendment in the Jammu and Kashmir (Administration of Property) Rules, 1961.
The huddle also accorded approval for appointment of Kamran Basharat Mufti as Presiding Officer in the Intellectual Property Tribunal, Islamabad.
Approval was accorded for repatriation of Azam Anwar Baloch, Judge, Special Court (CNS.I), Karachi and appointment of Ghulam Mustafa Memon, District & Session Judge (BS-21) as Judge Special Court (CNS.I), Karachi in his place.
The cabinet also approved appointment of Shahid Masood Manzar as Chairman of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue.
Approval was accorded for amendments in the Legal Practitioners and Bar Council Act, 1973 and placement of the amended bill before the Parliament.
The cabinet maintained its earlier decision to dissolve the Engineering Development Board (EDB) of the Ministry of Industries and Production.
The cabinet accorded approval for signing of the following memorandums of understanding on Electronic Origin Data Exchange between Customs Administration under China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, MoU between the State Customs Committee of Belarus and the Customs Wing of Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue on cooperation in exchange of Customs Statistics Data Bilateral Trade, between the Office of the Auditor General of Pakistan and Office of Auditor General of Nepal on cooperation in public sector auditing and MoU between Department of Auditor General of Pakistan and Accounts Chamber of Tajikistan on cooperation in public sector auditing.