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Friday, April 12, 2024

Hammad Azhar explains the electricity shortfall as PTI MNA criticizes govt

As the PTI MNA Noor Alam Khan argued that Pakistan is a poor country, so why are the people(officers) of the government being given free electricity when people are dying due to excessive load shedding, Hammad Azhar replied about the progress made by PTI government in the sector.

Noor Alam Khan, a PTI MNA from Peshawar questioned his counterparts on the same bench, specifically referring to the Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar, on the provision of electricity to the marginalized communities.

The Minister requested the government to work on the provision of electricity to the marginalized community of Pakistan. The emotional speech had sentences like, “It is my people that are burning in the scorching summer heat, it is the people of Pakistan.”

He talked about the fact that the men of the poor households can go outside for better weather and lower temperature, but that is not true for the women of the poor households.

The minister went on to argue that Pakistan is a poor country, so why are the people(officers) of the government being given free electricity when people are dying due to excessive load shedding.

He said that the contention with the government is not personal but it is because the people of Pakistan are suffering, and unless the electricity provided to the marginalized people in the community is not ensured, we will protest.

To this, the concerned minister Hammad Azhar replied with a fiery speech that is making rounds on social media.

Read More: Power projects to be govt’s top priority

Hammad Azhar’s reply

The minister started his speech with some rhetorical questions saying was it Imran Khan who signed 50 percent higher power contracts (referring to the PMLN’s much-debated contracts with IPPs).

“Was it Imran Khan’s government that has not done investment on any infrastructure or transmission over the last ten years?”, the minister added.

He asked the assembly whether it was the incumbent government that had done political hiring of the linemen and meter readers in the DISCOS of Pakistan.

Mr. Azhar said that the incumbent government is working honestly to reverse the damages the previous governments had done to the power production and distribution sectors of Pakistan.

He said that in 2023, Pakistan’s installed electricity production capacity would exceed the demand for it by 50 percent, and for all that extra electricity the national exchequer would be paying Rs1500 billion annually. He asked if such deals were done by Imran Khan.

He said that today, Pakistan’s electricity production capacity is more than 30,000 MW, but our system can’t put on load more than 24000 MW.

He said that all these bad deals are not the faults of PM Imran Khan but the preceding governments. He said addressing Mr. Noor Alam Khan indirectly that it thus, falls upon the members of the PTI members to state the facts to the public rather than criticizing the incumbent government for the sake of a few praises.

Read More: Pakistan to inaugurate Chinese-made nuclear power plant

Pakistan’s federal minister for energy Hammad Azhar addressed the Deputy Speaker of the lower house of the bicameral legislature, thereby informing the assembly that the government is working to change the system.

He said that the incumbent government has renegotiated the old LNG and IPPs contracts, making them more feasible for the national exchequer.

The minister said, that all-out efforts are being made to reduce the annual fiscal deficit in the power sector from 450 billion rupees to 200-250 billion rupees.

He said that the government would invest in the system and would continue to improve the power sector of the country.

It must be mentioned that talking to a private TV channel on 9th June, Mr. Azhar said that the present government, in collaboration with foreign companies, is exploring resources to meet future demands of the power sector.

He said an agreement of gas pipeline has been made with Russia to fulfill the need of domestic and commercial consumers.

The Current Issue

Replying to the question that the social media has been raising on the increase in load shedding during the past couple of days, and the average shortfall that has been mentioned, the Minister said on Twitter, “ Average shortfall of 1000 MW has arisen since last 48 hours due to rehabilitation in a major hydel plant and outages in a few thermal plants.”

Read More: Here’s why Pakistan is unable to become a super power

He added, “Tarbela will be back online in 4-6 days (3000 MW), and efforts made to add 1100 MW from alternative plants by tonight to plug the shortfall.”

The Ministry of energy has posted at 11:08 AM on Twitter saying, “Power situation in the country at 8:30 am, Total system demand 22393 MW, total system output 21800 MW, shortfall 593 MW. Alhamdulillah, due to continuous monitoring and necessary measures, the shortfall has remained very low. Tunnel-3 of Tarbela has also been activated, which is now slowly increasing the generation of electricity.”

A tweet by a user named Musa said, “Power Shortfall in last 24 hours was of 1000MW approx, while 500MW extra power was provided to KE.”