Expressing concern at excessive load shedding amid scorching heat, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said that a parliamentary committee should be formed if the government cannot resolve the power outage issue.
“The amount of load shedding is alarming despite the excess power generation capacity in the system. The people are starving, the school children are fainting, this situation is deplorable and reprehensible,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Wednesday.
He was of the view that the countrywide power outage issue has made people’s lives miserable.
The opposition leader advised the ruling PTI to step down from the government after “witnessing the shocking scenes” from all over the country. He claimed that in 2018, there was surplus power in the system and zero load shedding.
“If this government is so terrible that it cannot even manage the installed capacity, it must go home and spare the people of Pakistan more misery in the heat of the entire summer to follow. If [PM] Imran is incapable of addressing this dire situation, a parliamentary committee should be formed so that the opposition would do something to provide relief to the people,” he added.
Shehbaz, who is also the PML-N president, claimed that the government had already put everything beyond the buying capacity of the people. PM Imran’s policies have rendered millions unemployed, he alleged, adding that after flour, sugar and medicine, people are struggling for an access to electricity despite paying heavy bills.
Taking a jibe at the PTI’s slogan of ‘New Pakistan’, he said the ruling party has gifted the nation a new country with the old problem of load shedding. Claiming his party’s achievement, he said that under the ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, 14,000MW of additional power was generated while the incumbent premier “could not even run” the country with 14000MW extra power.
“By the grace of Almighty, 5500MW of electricity was generated in Punjab alone,” said Shehbaz, who also served as the Punjab CM before PTI’s term. But, he said that over the past nine years, the 350 dams of PTI could not be built in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from where electricity was to be supplied to the whole of Pakistan.
“Far from adding a single new unit, the PTI has not been able to restore power supply to the whole of Pakistan in three long years,” he said, “The PML-N managed a reduction in line losses but this government could not maintain that reduction. The PML-N recovered 93 per cent electricity bill, but the PTI-led government decreased it to 82%.”
On prevailing economic situation, he said the government after coming into power had a circular debt worth Rs1,200 billion which the PTI allegedly increased to Rs2,800 billion. He alleged that the ruling party would now find a new excuse to cover up its shortcomings.