ISLAMABAD - Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday said there would be no loadshedding in Ramazan during Sehar, Iftar and Taraveeh.

Talking to the media, Khawaja Asif claimed that due to best management practices the electricity production had gone up to a historical level.

"Power generation crossed 16,000 MW for the first time in the history of Pakistan," he added.

Federal minister also informed that power would be supplied to industrial zone from 7pm to 3am during the month of Ramazan.

At the time when federal minister was making claims of producing highest megawatts of power, unannounced blackouts and long hours of loadshedding continued in different parts of the country.

Right under the nose of ministry, unannounced loadshedding is a matter of routine in the jurisdictions of IESCO.

Up to three hours of unannounced loadshedding in addition to routine blackouts has become a matter of the day. Against complaints, for most of the time there is no response from IESCO complaint centre numbers. If someone picks up phone he would say to wait as the loadshedding would be due to some fault, said Ahsan Iqbal, a resident of Barakahu.

In other distribution companies the situation is worse. In Haripur, unannounced blackouts up to 5 hours has become a routine practice in addition to usual outages, which is every one hour after two hours, said Maqbool Malik, a resident of Haripur.

In MEPCO area the loadshedding has been increased up to 12 hours in urban areas and up to 14 hours in rural areas.

For the last couple of days unannounced loadshedding has again started, and the duration of blackouts has also increased, now after every one hour loadshedding of one hour is being done, said Kashif Khan, a resident of Bahawalpur.

A spokesman of water and power ministry said his department would try to avoid unannounced loadshedding, however, at times due to some technical fault it becomes avoidable. He said he would check data of the distribution companies regarding increase in duration of loadshedding in different parts of the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to official figures the gap between demand and supply was 3500-4000 MW. Last year, reportedly, the deficit was the same.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Ministry of Water and Power to ensure that there would be no loashedding during Sehr, Iftar and Taraweeh timings across the country while the overall load management schedule must not exceed the approved limits.

Prime Minister passed these orders while chairing the 15th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy here at the PM House.

The Prime Minister directed that during the holy month of Ramazan there should be no loadshedding from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm for Iftar and taraweeh and for Sehr there should be no loadshedding one hour before and one hour after Sehr, while overall loadshedding not to exceed the approved limit.

The meeting expressed the satisfaction that loadshedding in the country is going as per the plan of around 6 hours in urban areas and around 8 hours in rural areas.

The meeting was given a detailed briefing on Neelam Jhelum Power Project.

The Prime Minister expressed his displeasure over the undue delays in this project which also resulted in increase in its cost.

The meeting decided to form a committee to look into the possibility of privatising the project or entering into partnership with some investor to ensure its timely completion.

The committee would be tasked to present its report within three months.

It was also decided that the project must be completed by the first quarter of 2017.

Secretary Water and Power Younus Dagha updated the meeting on progress on ongoing power projects which are not part of CPEC including hydro, nuclear, LNG, wind and coal based projects.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance; Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum; Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning; Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Railways; Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water & Power; Jam Kamal Khan, MOS for Petroleum; Abid Sher Ali, MOS for Water & Power; Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to PM on National Security; Tariq Fatemi, SAPM on Foreign Affairs; Dr. Musadik Malik, SAPM; Javed Aslam, Secretary to PM; Arshad Mirza, Secretary Petroleum; Muhammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Water & Power; Ms. Parveen Agha, Secretary Railways; Zafar Mahmood, Chairman WAPDA and Raja Hasan Abbas, Secretary Cabinet alongwith other senior government officials.