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Power tariff to be rationalised from Oct 1: Khawaja Asif

01 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday announced that the government would rationalise the power tariff for domestic consumers from October 1 and for commercial and industrial consumers from August 1.

While unveiling the new power policy at a press conference, the minister said the new tariff for the consumers would be conveyed within days. He said there would be no change in rate for first 200 units used by domestic consumers as an effort has been made to not put more burden on the poor.

He said change in tariff is unavoidable because if it is not done it would have led to accumulation of circular debt of Rs 600-700 billion once again. The minister said due to the government's efforts, record 16,170 megawatts power was generated on Tuesday, while an average 15,000 megawatts power generation would be maintained.

Asif said 5,900 megawatts were being generated from hydel sources and 7,900 megawatts were produced by independent power producers (IPPs). He said there was a clear decrease in load shedding in the month of Ramazan and now it was at level of 8-9 hours to 12-13 hours at different places as demand peaked at 18,000 megawatts in July with one-third of it consumed by air conditioners.

"When our government took office, the shortage was at 5,000 megawatts and now it has reduced to 3,000 megawatts." Talking about the new energy policy, he said the main thrust was to change the energy mix in the next three to five years by producing more affordable power from hydel and alternative sources and keeping tariff at a certain level.

He said that in the last 20 years, more power was produced with oil while hydropower generation was ignored, and now Pakistan is "number one in producing power from oil". The minister said that steps were under consideration to regulate the use of electricity in markets and business centres in evening. "The waste of electricity is getting out of control as it is used for illumination of buildings and lighting streets." He said 1100 megawatts could be saved by early closure of markets in evenings, while 700-800 megawatts would be saved with use of six million imported energy savers, which would arrive by September.

About rioting in Bannu, Khawaja Asif said two feeders in Kaki and Mandan were shut down as power losses in these two areas due to theft have reached 93 percent and 92 percent. The power for these two feeders would not be restored if those stealing electricity do not clear their arrears and agree to pay bills in the future, the minister added.

Asif said electricity amounting to Rs 120 to Rs 200 billion is stolen every year and those honestly paying their bills are bearing the burden of ensuing power shortages. Clarifying the matter about revised estimate of Nandipur hydropower project, he said the revised estimate of Rs 57 billion was given in January by the last government and now it has been approved by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet.

End.

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