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Power shortage increasing despite supply of furnace oil

The Council of Common Interests (CCI) during its meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Wednesday was informed that the government was providing furnace oil worth Rs2 billion for power generation on daily basis despite that the power shortage was increasing.

The official sources confirmed to ‘The News’ that the issue of power outages was not on the agenda item of the CCI but Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif raised this issue during the meeting and demanded to resolve it on immediate basis.

Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told the meeting that the installed generation capacity of electricity was 19,000MW in the country and there was a gap of 4,000MW to 5000MW. He said that the government was supplying 28,000 metric ton of furnace oil for power generation but either the generation capacity had choked or electricity generated through the system was missing from the system. “We are providing oil for power generation to the tune of Rs2 billion on daily basis,” the minister further added.

Chief Minister Punjab also raised the issue of circular debt which was again piling up and choking the cash bleeding power sector.

The finance minister replied that the government had paid Rs1,002 billion to clear this debt. Without resolving the differential tariff — cost of generation and recovery of cost — the issue of circular debt could not be resolved. Prime Minister asked for suggestion to resolve this issue and on the proposal of finance minister a committee was constituted under chairmanship of Minister of Water and Power to come up with recommendations how unified shortages could be distributed among the provinces equally and how recoveries could be ensured effectively.

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