ISLAMABAD - State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Friday informed the National Assembly that additional 1500MW electricity would be added to the national grid system in May.

Replying to various questions during question hour, the minister said that the government has launched many power generation projects and the menace of power load-shedding would be completely coped by 2017.

He said that areas with more line losses or electricity theft will not be supplied electricity. The state minister said, "Only those areas will get electricity which pay for it." He told the house that there were many areas with 80-90 per cent line losses and the government could not afford providing electricity to such areas.

However, the lawmakers got furious over such replies and raised question mark on the performance of the government in the energy sector. They said that it was the responsibility of the government to control electricity theft and punish those involved in this act but it could not equally punish those who were living in such areas but were paying their bills.

The state minister while responding to a question said that all the circular debt was due to electricity theft in the country. He said 80 per cent losses were reported in around 260 feeders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

To a question, the minister said that the government had deposited Rs 540 million in the provincial kitty to acquire land for Chakdra grid station. However, despite lapse of one and half years, the land had not been acquired for the grid station.

To another question, the minister said that the executive committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved revised PC-1 of acquisition of land and resettlement of Diamer-Basha Dam project amounting to Rs 101.372 billion. He also apprised the house that the government was aiming to build the dam using its own resources.

During the question hour, Pir Hasnat Shah apprised the house that in Islamabad he was trying to make it possible to implement one Azaan time for the prayers.