ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Water & Power Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali on Friday said that provision of electricity to the masses at an affordable cost is the top priority of the government that is committed to overcome the electricity deficit, hobbling our economy in the shortest possible time.“Lines losses, power theft and non-payment of circular debt are the major causes of the current electricity shortage which we have inherited from the previous governments,” the minister observed while addressing a meeting held at water & power ministry. He also said, “Had the government during last ten years paid heed practically to resolve energy issue, we would have been in position to meet electricity demand of domestic consumers as well as that of the industrial sector.” The minister emphasised that we will have to improve our energy mix to cope with the looming crisis of the electricity. Shifting from the furnace oil to the other cheaper fuels like coal fired power generation, hydropower; solar, wind and nuclear power generation provide the best alternatives. In this regard the present government has launched various hydropower projects of 20,000 MW and 6600 MW coal fired Gaddani Power Project to be completed with the cooperation of China.He told the meeting that first time in the history of Pakistan Rs. 250 billion has been allocated by any government in the Annual Development Programme for the development of the power sector.