ISLAMABAD - After failing to meet different deadlines to end blackout in the country, the government Wednesday told the National Assembly that load-shedding would be overcome in its current tenure.

During the Question Hour, when Parliamentary Secretary Jaffar Iqbal gave details of upcoming projects to meet the electricity demand, a member asked as when load-shedding would be ended in the country. The parliamentary secretary parried the question and continued highlighting the government efforts during last three years.

At this point, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq smilingly asked the parliamentary secretary as when load-shedding would be ended in the country. He replied very soon. However, after realising facial expressions of the members, he said: “load-shedding would be ended during the tenure of current government. There was laughter in the house but the Speaker was quick to move to next question.

Answering a question about unavailability of electricity and water in Gwadar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif in a written reply said that presently 69MW of electricity is supplied to Makran region, including Gwadar city. He said provision of electricity to Gwader pertains to Gwadar Development Authority (GDA).

However, he said, under the CPEC, a dedicated 300MW coal fired power plant is being established in Gwadar under IPP mode while projects, including a 132KV Grid Station Deep Sea Port Gwadar, 132 KV Downtown Gwadar Grid Station, 132 KV Grid Station in Singhar housing society, Naag-Basima 132 KV Transmission Line has been included in PSDP 2016-17.

Answering a question, Jaffar Iqbal said currently Pakistan is importing 74MW of electricity from Iran. He said a contact has also been signed with Iran for import of 100MW electricity for Gwadar.

To another question, the house was told that the total number of Aids or HIV patients in the country is 17,224. In KP, total number of AIDS patients is 2,085 while 1,348 are under treatment. It was said that government has established 21 HIV/AIDS Treatment, 11 Prevention of Parents to Child Transmission (PPTCT) Centres and 20 Community Home Based Centres (CHBC).

When pointed out that two employees of PIMS hospital are Aids patients and two children suffering from Thalassemia were injected infectious blood, the speaker directed authorities to take appropriate action.

Answering another question, the house was told that the Government of Punjab has disbursed Rs23.67 billion among 1,080,293 of 33 districts of the province. The Kissan Package was for all the provinces but it was implemented in Punjab only because other provinces did not provide fifty per cent amount. Parliamentary Secretary for Ports and Shipping Mian Imtiaz Ahmad said that Pakistan National Shipping Corporation is intending to start passenger-cum cargo ferry service within the country.