ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said on Monday that the government will continue to give a subsidy of Rs6-7 on every unit for electricity consumers using two hundred units per month, totalling Rs170 billion.
In an interview with Radio Pakistan, he said it has been decided to end the difference between the cost and sale price of electricity. Currently electricity is being generated at the rate of Rs15 and sold at Rs8 per unit, he added, but although the government has decided to withdraw this subsidy, it will continue to be provided for consumers using up to two hundred units.
The minister said efforts are being made to produce cheap electricity. The process of installing new coal-fired power plants and converting oil fired power plants to coal has already been started, he added.
Commissioning of coal related projects will help bring down the price of electricity. Similarly, he said the government is focusing on hydel sources but completion of these projects will take six to seven years.
Rashid said that friendly countries including China have assured Pakistan of their support to help cope with the energy crisis.
He stated that China has agreed to establish four coal fired power plants at Gadani, the coastal area of Balochistan, with a capacity of 600 megawatts each.
The minister said electricity generation has reached record level of 16,000 megawatt due to the steps of the present government.
Electricity production was at 12,000-13,000 megawatts electricity when the PML (N) came to power, said the minister, and has increased to a record 16,000 megawatts due to various efforts undertaken by the government.
Replying to the question about Khunjerab-Kashgar economic corridor, he said Chinese experts will visit Pakistan soon after Eidul Fitr to make further headway on this important project.
He said the completion of this project will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in Gawadar and the Balochistan. The project will generate economic activity and open new job opportunities, besides giving boost to local industries, said the minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.
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