Ministers lambast Shehbaz for playing up power, gas issues

Fawad says PML-N president should explain his position regarding allegations of corruption


Our Correspondent July 13, 2021
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry addressing press conference along with Energy Minister Hammad Azhar and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Accountability Shahzad Akbar in Islamabad on Monday. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD:

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif “played up” the power and gas issues instead of explaining his position with regard to the allegations of corruption against him.

“Shehbaz should have answered the queries about alleged laundering of Rs25 billion abroad on forged documents, but he narrated that he had built Metro Bus Service in Punjab,” he said while addressing a news conference along with Energy Minister Hammad Azhar and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Monday.

Similarly, he claimed that when he (Shehbaz) was asked that his sons had transferred billions of rupees abroad, he told the investigators that he had worked on water supply schemes.

When questioned about billions of rupees transferred to his accounts, Shehbaz said he had served the Punjab province, the minister added.

Further, Azhar said Shehbaz was misleading the public through false statements, as there was no unannounced electricity load-shedding across the country.

Also read: Shehbaz fires broadside at govt

He said the government was working hard to remove the weaknesses in electricity transmission system.

“If there is load-shedding in a few areas, it is only due to rain, storms, accidents or electricity theft incidents.”

There was no power shortage in the country as the system was able to produce 24,500 megawatts of electricity recently due to the efforts of the incumbent government, he said.

The minister said the expensive power projects installed by the PML-N were a huge burden on the national kitty. The country had been paying Rs180 billion extra to power houses which would increase to Rs1,300 billion in the coming years due to agreements of the previous regime, he added.

Azhar said due to the false policies of the PML-N government, the country was facing circular debt worth Rs400 billion annually. However, it had been reduced to Rs177 billion in the current year due to the efforts of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The PML-N government, he said, had paid Rs400 billion circular debt at once as it came to power in 2013 but, it again reached Rs1,200 billion when it left the government in 2018.

He pointed out that former chief minister Punjab had installed a power plant of imported coal in Sahiwal which was beyond someone's imaginations.

The incumbent government, Azhar said, was now saving Rs700 billion annually through renewing agreements with the power houses.

The minister said the average electricity consumption in the country was 16,000 MW, adding that it used to reach to 24,000 MW for a month-and-a-half, only once in a year.

The PML-N government had made agreements with power houses to generate 30,000 MW electricity and the country was responsible to make payments, he maintained.

The energy minister said the incumbent had introduced low-priced projects of RLNG in the country.

(With input from APP)

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