No reservoir constructed in country during last forty years: Ali Zafar

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ISLAMABAD : Caretaker Minister for Power Syed Ali Zafar has said no water reservoir has been constructed for last forty years due to which there are energy and water crises in the country.

He was addressing a joint news conference along with Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr. Shamshad Akhtar in Islamabad this afternoon.

Giving reasons for the recent unannouncded loadshedding, Syed Ali Zafar said there was extreme shortage of water in dams and Port Qasim and Balloki power plants also developed technical faults, which caused over 5000 MW reduction in power in the national grid.

He said water level in dams has increased after rains and the technical faults in the plants have been removed, and now the situation has considerably improved.

Syed Ali Zafar said at present 21,000 to 22000 megawatts of electricity is being produced against the demand of 23,000 to 24,000 MW, facing a shortfall of 2000 MW. He said the country has a total installed capacity of 28,000 MW. Expressing the caretaker government’s commitment for transparent elections, Syed Ali Zafar, who also holds portfolio of Information Ministry, assured that they will fully support to the Election Commission to hold free, fair and peaceful elections.

He categorically stated that the caretaker government will make no compromise on security of the country and take all necessary decisions in best national interest.

The Information Minister said the government will perform its responsibilities according to its constitutional mandate without indulging into any blame game. He said the caretaker government will leave guidelines for the upcoming elected government to follow them if it wants.

Speaking on the occasion, the careakter Finance Minister said the recent increase in oil prices is linked to the rise in prices of petroleum products in international market.

She said only fifty percent impact of the increase in international market has been passed on to the consumers. She said oil prices in Pakistan are still lower as compared to the neighboring countries of the region.

The Minister said the country will not enter into any agreement or negotiations with IMF. She, however, said the caretaker setup will take care of the macroeconomic challenges being faced by the country.

Regarding economic condition of the country, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said Interim finance and planning minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar rejected speculation that the caretaker government may approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans.

“The caretaker government cannot hold talks or sign a deal with IMF,” Akhtar, a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, said while addressing a joint press conference of federal ministers in Islamabad on load-shedding and financial issues.

Explaining the reason behind the Rs4.26 per-litre hike in petrol prices in effect from today, the interim finance minister said the increase in petroleum prices follows a certain formula.

“Oil prices are determined by global prices,” she said, adding, “All governments have to adjust petroleum prices.”

Answering a question, the Finance Minister said the caretaker government will honor debt repayment.

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