LAHORE, Pakistan: State Minister for Water and Power, Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said on Saturday that industrial and industrial-mix feeders were now enjoying zero load-shedding following the PML-N government’s effective policies and initiatives, which ensured increased power generation and improved transmission system.
Briefing the media here at Wapda House, he said that overall load-shedding duration had also been reduced from long 18 hours in the past to only six hours in cities and eight hours in rural areas today. However, electricity is suspended to areas with huge line losses and excessive power theft, for long duration, he added.
Abid Sher mentioned that RLNG (Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas) power plants would be operational in June 2017, while total of 400 kilometers transmission lines in this regard would be completed by December 2016. He added that PML-N government has also saved Rs 110 billion of the nation in three RLNG projects of accumulative capacity of 3650 MW being installed one each at Bhikkhi (Sheikhupura), Balloki (Kasur) and Haveli Bahadur Shah (Jhang).
To a question, he said that government has also saved Rs 220 billion by introducing merit audit in the power sector and improved the DISCOs (distribution companies) recovery rate ranging from 67 to 100 per cent.
The State Minister said that in the past, power sector of Pakistan witnessed mega scandals and corruption but the present government had ensured merit audit of various power projects including Nandipur Power Project and no corruption or scandal was proved so far.
“We are all ready for self-accountability, if a minor corruption or scandal is unearthed in the power projects”, he resolved.
Abid Sher Ali reminded that Rs 58 billion PC-I of Nandipur project was chalked-out by the past governments, adding that vested interests and massive corruption made the project nothing but a junk despite spending of Rs 33 billion till the PML-N government elected in 2013.
If the present government abandoned the project, the nation would also have to pay an additional USD 160 million fine to the respective companies therefore, the N-League took a wise decision and made Nandipur power plant operational within the fiscal limit of Rs 50 billion. Thus, he said, the government saved another Rs 42 billion of the national exchequer.
To a question, Abid Sher Ali ruled out reports about massive corruption in the Nandipur project and said the project is generating electricity at Rs 11.5 per unit as determined by the NEPRA.
The State Minister said that generation of inexpensive electricity especially from hydel source is the priority of the government.
“We are generating electricity as per demand of the DISCOs and we prefer hydel and other inexpensive sources in this regard, and operate the furnace/diesel power plants only when needed”, he maintained.
He cited that electricity worth Rs 2 billion is being stolen per month in SEPCO (Sukkur) alone; Rs 130 billion are receivable by QUECO (Quetta) under the head of tube-wells, while, feudal in Sindh did not pay power bills of their tube-wells and action is being taken against them.