ISLAMABAD - Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed has said that if government does not withdraw power subsidy then the poor people have to pay 600 billion rupees annually in terms of circular debt to private power producer houses.

He expressed these views while talking to media during his visit to the ICCI here on Thursday. He added that printing of currency notes to pay the circular debt would cause more inflation that will directly affect common people that is why the government has decided to cut down subsidy. About 8 to 9 years are required to produce low-priced electricity," Rasheed said. "About 60 per cent power production in the country is thermal that is produced from oil and 40 per cent is hydel that is produced from water," added the minister.

The minister said that the subsidy's cut down would not benefit PML-N or any specific personality. He said that 42 per cent people of the country use less than 200 units monthly and they are exempted from the subsidy withdrawal and the government would have to pay 120 billion rupees for this. He reminded that PML-N was the first party who raised voice against IPPs (Independent Power Producers) in the country and it re-negotiated with IPPs for tariff reduction.

The information minister regretted that alternate power production sources have not been built in the past, adding government will have to take realistic difficult decisions for betterment of coming generations. He urged the traders to recommend suggestions for reduction of electricity price.

Talking about region, the information minister said that government is pursuing policy of cooperation rather than confrontation to steer country out from prevailing crisis.