The government has decided to conduct an audit of power plants set up by the previous government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz PML-N.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary said, “The PML-N government signed agreements to produce electricity at extremely high costs.” “Quaid-e-Azam solar plant is the most expensive power plant in the world,” he claimed.
The information minister further said that the price of electricity was increased by Rs1.32 owing to different power plants. “The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated inquiry against LNG plants set-up in Punjab.”
He said the current average per unit power cost is 15.53 rupees and the consumers are being provided electricity at the rate of 11.71 rupees. This, he said, is causing a loss of 2.63 rupees per unit to the national exchequer.
Further elaborating the losses, the Minister said that a deficit of 1.2 billion is being incurred on daily basis in the power sector in the winter season while in summer season, the deficit soars to 1.80 billion rupees. As a result of these losses, circular debt is ballooning by thirty four to thirty six billion rupees every month.
Claiming that the PML-N carried out “criminal acts,” he said that they took decisions and huge loans without any economic plans. “The way PML-N played with the institutions needs to be brought forward,” the information minister added.
He further said, “It is not fair to blame the current government for PML-N’s failed policies.”
The information minister further vowed that there will be no compromises on the process of accountability.
He further said that the government is taking steps against money laundering and to increase investment in the country. Chauhdry clarified, “National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) determines the power tariff and was created by the previous governments not us.”
“NEPRA informed us that we should increase the prices of electricity or incur a loss on a daily basis,” he added while stating that the demand for electricity stands at 14,000MW.
He further said, “We tried our best to ensure that the poor are not affected by the hike in gas prices and are striving to fix things.”
The information minister also clarified that no decision regarding a hike in power tariffs was taken during the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting. “Federal Minister for Energy Umar Ayub is out of town and a decision will be taken during the next ECC meeting,” he added.
Chauhdry also stated that the premier will take the nation into confidence regarding all matters soon. “Pakistan’s future is bright and there will be good news soon.”