ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to curtail electricity loadshedding time period for the industrial sector of Pakistan effective from today (Sunday), TheNation reliably learnt on Saturday. Industrial sector of the country was suffering a lot due to loadshedding and consequently thousands of private sector employees were being fired from their jobs, so the government has set a priority to facilitate this sector, sources said. The sources said that presently the big industry has to face power shutdown of seven hours a day and small industry eight hours a day. Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has now decided to reduce it to four hours and six hours, respectively. During the previous few months, the country suffered a lot in the shape of reduced production capacity of manufacturing sector due to power shortfall. The crisis was due to mounting circular debt of PEPCO as it was unable to pay the dues to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and consequently the IPPs were not in a position to purchase fuel to run their power generation plants, the sources said. The government was still not in a position to abolish loadshedding completely and the country was facing a shortfall ranging from 1000 to 1600MW. One of the reasons behind that was that the power generation companies still owed Rs 82 billion to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the sources added. On the other side there were billions of rupees, which were supposed to be collected from the consumers, and PEPCO presently seemed unable to do so. The major portion of this uncollected amount was due from NWFP that was creating hurdles in running the business smoothly. Security situation in the province was a big reason behind this delay in collection of the dues, the sources maintained. Though the Minister for Water and Power expressed many days earlier that the government had decided to pay all the dues within six months, yet presently no significant amount has been paid to PSO and the private power generators, said the sources.