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Only responsible leader can resolve energy crisis

Only sincere and responsible political leadership can resolve the energy crisis in three years who appoint energy sector expert and give them free hand; otherwise, the situation would be worsened in the country. These views were expressed by experts at the Jang Economic Session on “could electricity crisis be resolved in three years,” here on Tuesday. The panellists were VC University of South Asia, Dr Sohail Aftab, former Managing Directors of Pepco, Munawar Basir, and Tahir Basharat Cheema, Engineers Qaiser Zaman and Salman Najeeb and Tahmina Asad while hosted by Sikandar Hameed Lodhi and Intikhab Tariq. Dr Sohail Aftab said false claims were being made to end loadshedding as it could be reduced, not ended. He said Kalabagh Dam was politicised and could not be constructed even next 20 years. He stressed the need to reduce technical and line loses, operate tube wells on solar energy, promotion of energy saver instruments and install metering system at transformers to stop electricity theft. Munawar Basir said no political party have plans to resolve energy crisis. He said real time shortfall surpassed to 9,000 Mega Watt. He said government was selling Rs 15 per unit cost electricity at Rs 9 per unit and circular debt could not be reduced by minimising this difference. He said conversion of diesel plants on LNG would be beneficial for country while government could save 4,000 Mega Watt electricity by good governance. Tahir Basharat Cheema said due to increase in production cost of electricity energy crisis emerged and industrial development was halted. He said circular debt was increased to Rs 435 billion due to difference between the production costs of selling tariff of energy. He said Jamshoro Plant was producing electricity at Rs 27 per unit and Muzaffargarh at Rs 24 per unit. He believed that the government should shut down these plants while electricity theft should be a non-bailable crime. He said the government should deduct Rs 120 billion overdue dues of all provinces and AJK from Federal Adjuster and pay it to energy sector. He called for evolving national energy policy on the pattern of national defence policy and providing funds for Thar Coal Project from national exchequer. Engineers Qaiser Zaman said the electricity theft should also be controlled along with increase in the electricity production. Engineers Salman Najeeb said by controlling the irrelevant usage of gas electricity crisis could be reduced. He said CNG should be given to public transport only while wrong use of gas by the other sectors should also be curtailed and this gas be supplied to power plants. Tahmina Asad said that a forum comprising technocrats should be evolved to resolve energy crisis.

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