LAHORE - PEPCO MD Tahir Basharat Cheema has said that the energy sector reforms being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan are aimed at resolution of the challenges being faced by the power sector. The Government, he said, is making a concerted effort to optimise utilisation of indigenous resources for increase in power generation at affordable prices. He said this while addressing the members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) here on Wednesday. Dilating upon the role of PEPCO, Cheema emphasised the need of an overarching umbrella body so that the objectives of the reforms could be implemented in letter and spirit. Recalling the history of creation of PEPCO, he said that though it was established in 1998 as an integrated utility on the premise that WAPDA had become unwieldy and needed to unbundle into generation, transmission and distribution Companies, it was not till 2007 when a separate Managing Director was appointed to head PEPCO, earlier held concurrently by Chairman WAPDA. Cheema said that generation companies, transmission companies and distribution companies working under PEPCO have total autonomy having their own independent board of governors. Cheema said that Pakistan's energy assets are peculiar since most of the hydel power is generated in the North while thermal power is generated in the South of the country. The demand, however, he said, is mostly concentrated in the centre of the country, he added. Cheema informed the members of APTMA that PEPCO has submitted a business plan which includes proposals for meeting the present deficit of Rs 226 billion. This includes a subsidy of Rs 30 billion presently being provided by the Government, rationalization of tariff, provision of additional gas for operation of thermal power plants on gas instead of oil, cutting of line losses, improvement in recovery of revenue by checking theft of electricity and improving the energy mix. The objectives of business plan presented by PEPCO is to improve efficiency, cut costs wherever possible without increasing the tariff. The business plan presented by PEPCO also caters to the provision of supply of additional 6.2 billion units to industry and commerce which were unmet previously during FY 2009-10. The MD PEPCO said that the future plans include a proposal for establishing Small Independent Power Producers (SIPPs) of 50 MW or less. The investors in these plants can use any fuel and enter in contracts with Distribution Companies directly. Basharat Cheema said that he was optimistic that nearly 1,000 MW of electricity could be generated through SIPPs in the very near future. Gauhar Ejaz Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) in his welcome address appreciated the cooperation and support extended by PEPCO to industry in general and textile industry in particular.