ISLAMABAD  - Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, on Tuesday said that circular debt had again swollen as provincial governments and giant corporations did not pay their bills.

Asif was talking to media persons after the first meeting of Energy Planning Working Group of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Circular debt will not end in just one year. We have to control power theft and line losses to end the circular debt issue,” he said. He said that there was a proposal to create a new post of federal adjuster to settle the billing matters, however the proposal was still under process due to non-cooperation of provinces. He said the government paid over Rs 500 billion to end circular debt last year but it piled up again.

He said the provincial governments also opposed deduction of dues from their funds. He said that the power theft addiction is underway for the last 65 years, which would have to be brought to an end to overcome the power crisis.

Asif said that the country would overcome energy crisis with Chinese assistance, adding 21,000 MW power projects would be launched.

The ongoing power load-shedding would become a past nightmare, he said and added that 6000 to 7000MW electricity projects would be initiated from this year and completed till 2017.