Govt to end loadshedding by March 2018: Abid


Islamabad—Minister of State for Water and Power State Abid Sher Ali on Thursday informed the National Assembly that the government is fully committed to end load shedding by March 2018.
Replying to questions during Question Hour, the minister said that 8,000MW to 10,000MW electricity would be added to the system, which would be sufficient to meet country’s needs.
“The government is working on generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to achieve zero load-shedding and is spending billion of dollars for the up-gradation of transmission system,” he added. He said that during previous governments, there was 14 to 16 hours load-shedding which had crippled the life of common man.
“The present government is committed to generate adequate electricity on affordable rates. All of the government’s policies, initiatives and developments are aimed at eliminating load-shedding in order to facilitate a comfortable lifestyle for the people and uninterrupted progress of the industrial sector in the country,” he added.
The minister said that due to sincere and hectic efforts of the government, the generating capacity of electricity is continuously increasing and the duration of load-shedding has also decreased gradually. He said the industry is already exempted from load-shedding whereas in the month of November 2016, the government has reduced its duration for domestic consumers by 50 percent.
Abid Sher Ali said that previous governments did not spend even a single penny on transmission system while the present government was not only constructing power plants but also improving the transmission lines across the country.
The minister requested the Sindh government to refund arrears as soon as possible and help the Ministry of Water and Power to control electricity theft in the province.
Abid Sher Ali proposed a committee of the National Assembly headed by Syed Naveed Qamar to clear all the outstanding issue with the Sindh Government. Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi referred the matter to the government assurance committee and directed to submit report within 30 days.
The minister expressed hope that work on Munda Dam Project will be started by 2017 after the approval of Planning Commission and ‘Study Phase’ which comprises of detailed Engineering Design, preparation of Tender Documents and PC-I.—APP