ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Ministry of Water and Power not to go for loadshedding in the name of maintenance and repair of power plants during the holy month of Ramazan and to adopt a pro-active policy to deal with the issue of power supply and demand.

The prime minister further directed the officials to work out shifting of scheduled outages of power plants on account of repair and maintenance from summer to winter season so that inconvenience to general power consumers due to maintenance work could be avoided.

Chairing the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) on Tuesday, the prime minister further directed the Ministry of Water and Power to undertake power supply and demand analysis till the year 2023 so as to prepare an integrated long-term plan with regard to fulfilling energy requirements of the country.

Over the past month or so, the prime minister had been calling the CCE meeting on short intervals and himself monitoring the progress on various power generation projects as well as to overcome the flaws in the power transmission network.

Water and Power Division secretary briefed the meeting on progress of decisions made in the previous meeting including working of the inter-ministerial committee of finance, water and power, and petroleum and natural resources ministries, power supply and demand analysis till September 2018, and utilisation of idle power plants.

The prime minister emphasised that pro-active planning should be exercised regarding power supply and demand.

It is very unfortunate that planning by relevant authorities is undertaken without inculcating important contingency factors that could not be ruled out, expressed the prime minister. 

The CCE unanimously approved that no power shutdowns be carried out on account of development works during Ramazan.

It was also decided that factors including increase in use of electric appliances due to economic prosperity and behavioural patterns of power consumers be included in the estimation of projected power demands.

The CCE also accorded in-principle approval for establishment of a new LNG-based 1,200MW capacity power plant.

Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and other senior officials attended the meeting.