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Energy crisis will last 2 years, says water & power minister

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has said that the energy crisis will not be solved in days and months – rather at least two years are required to resolve it.

Mr Asif stated this while addressing an energy conference held in Islamabad on Thursday.

He added that the government had carved out a comprehensive plan to resolve the energy crisis – only final approval by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was needed.

The minister said that two to three years are required to deal with energy crisis.

Asif disclosed that – due to the shortage of power – the country had sustained a huge loss of Rs 1000 billion in the last five years.

The minister also said that Pakistan was likely to face a bigger crisis in the near future in the shape of water shortage. Khawaja Asif blamed the Musharraf regime for not paying attention to the development of water storage capacity in the country.

However, he said that the situation will from the present in terms of load shedding.

The government has decided to repair and upgrade those power plants which are at present non-functional so that electricity supply side could be improved.

Pakistan is currently facing a power deficit of 4000-5000 megawatts per day that – according to the federal minister – would soon be managed at a reasonable level.

Electric power distribution companies have been directed to strictly confine themselves with the scheduled load shedding.

The power outages have become a life and death issue and are adversely affecting the lives of Pakistan’s 200 million people, he said

The power outages have been exacerbated by the delay in the materialization of the Nandipur project.

This has inflicted a loss on Pakistan of Rs 113 billion per annum, while – on the other hand – the independnt power producers have also increased their power tariff.

Allegedly, an amount of Rs 100 million was taken as kickbacks in the Nandipur power project – inflicting a mammoth loss of Rs 113 billion per annum on the country.

Its believed that Pakistan’s top leadership has continued to be negligent in Nandipur due to this factor.

The minister said that it is the government’s biggest challenge to provide electricity at affordable prices.

He added that corruption in the power sector is Rs 207 billion per year – which is an alarming development.

The federal minster said that figures regarding line losses of 22 percent and other leakages were not correct – rather all have been fudged. In the last 15 years, it is power sector that sustained the most losses.

Talking about the future power tariff regime, the minister said that poor consumers will be exempted from any raise in power tariff.

However, the government would pass on the full cost of the electricity to those the consumers who consume electricity at Rs 35 per unit through private diesel run generators.

The provision of 500 mmcfd gas per day to compressed natural gas sector and supply of gas to fertilizer sector at existing rates is simply intolerable.

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