Circular debt has dipped significantly, Omar Ayub tells IMF

Fund chief appreciates efforts made by Power Division

​ Our Correspondent September 21, 2019
Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan. PHOTO: TWITTER/ Omar Ayub Khan

ISLAMABAD: Due to concerted efforts of the Power Division, circular debt has shown considerable reduction in its growth, said Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub.

In a meeting with IMF delegation headed by Mission Chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, the minister reiterated historic achievements made by the Power Division, which resulted in record recoveries and reduction in line losses.

"Circular debt was growing at a rate of Rs38 billion per month," he said, adding, "Within eight months till the end of FY19, its growth rate was reduced to Rs26 billion per month." The minister remarked that results for July 2019 were even more encouraging when the growth was further arrested to Rs18 billion per month.

Ayub pointed out that these achievements were the result of comprehensive campaigning against power theft and defaulters initiated by the Power Division. He also informed the delegation on the technical and system improvement measures undertaken by the Power Division in the sector.

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"Ariel Bundled Cables are being installed by power distribution companies in areas where hooks and power theft from lines are rampant," he said. "In areas where the problem is more sophisticated like major urban centres, AMI meters are in execution."

He further informed that 80% of the total feeders in the country were now free of load management.

Ayub added that the department was investing in the distribution system to improve its technical viability and increase human resources in a bid to make these entities perform efficiently.  He also apprised the delegation of the new Renewable Energy Policy in which the government was targeting to increase share of indigenous resources and slashing electricity prices for consumers besides reducing dependency on imported fuels.  "We intend to increase the share of indigenous resources up to 75%," he added. Also speaking on the occasion, Rigo appreciated the efforts made by the Power Division in meeting its targets. He also expressed pleasure over the move formulating a new renewable energy policy.

"Power is an integral part of the IMF programme," said Rigo, adding that the power sector's performance, in his view, was encouraging after IMF had detailed discussions with various stakeholders.

He also appreciated the shift towards utilisation of indigenous resources leading towards reducing the prices of electricity in the country that will ultimately benefit all walks of life.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2019.

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