Islamabad - Rebuffing the opposition lawmakers’ criticism of prolonged power cuts in some parts of the country, the federal government on Thursday claimed that there was no electricity crisis and rather it has overcome the dire straits in the last four years or so.

“The present government has added 10,973 megawatts of cheap electricity to the national grid,” Minister for Power Awais Ahmed Leghari told the National Assembly during the question-hour session.

He said that the present installed electricity generation capacity as of April 4 stood at 30,195 MW, while the de-rated capacity stood at 28,440 MW.

He said that of March 3, 2018, an average of 14,275 MW was generated, of which 1,572 was received from hydel, 2,092 from power generation companies (Gencos), 10,610 from independent power producers.

He said transmission and distribution losses remained at 18.9 percent in 2012-13 which had been brought down to 17.9 percent in 2016-17.

Leghari rejected the impression that the duration of power outages has increased in the country and said power cuts were being carried out only in areas where pilferage and line losses were high.

He claimed that the government has succeeded in overcoming the power shortages.

He said that the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) is processing four regasified liquefied natural gas (R-LNG) plants — 1,180 MW Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power at Bhikki Punjab,  1,230 MW National Power Parks Management Co at Haveli Bahadur Shah, 1,223 MW NPPCML Project at Balloki, Punjab and 1,263 MW Punjab Thermal Power project near Trimmu Barrage, District Jhang. He clarified that the PPIB was not pursuing any new R-LNG based plant.

Replying a question of lawmaker Musarat Rafique Mahesar about steps taken to improve the power distribution network since 2013 and whether the government has rejected a five-billion-dollar programme of the Asian Development Bank for installation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), Leghri said that the up-gradation/augmentation, rehabilitation and extension of grid stations, transmission lines/feeders of DISCOs was a continuous process as per the growing need/load and due to aging of equipment with the passage of time.

He said that it was a fact that the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) decided not to proceed with the AMI project funded by the ADB in its current form and structure and requested the EAD to assess the impact of cancellation to save the public exchequer from the expected high cost of financing.

On questions of parliamentarians regarding prolonged load-shedding in Karachi, Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas told the House that the federal government has sent a team to Karachi to sort out the issues between K-Electric and the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

He said that K-electric had to pay billions of rupees in outstanding to the SSGC and after a payment to the gas utility, the gas supply will improve and the power cuts will end.