ISLAMABAD - Although the government, despite its tall claims, totally failed to reduce power outages during Ramazan, the authorities have decided to provide relief to the people during Eid days by allocating Rs 20 billion to the power sector.
The PML-N government, in a an attempt of ‘face saving’, has injected Rs 20 billion into the power sector to provide improved power supply to the masses only during Eid days, while it completely failed to reduce loadshedding during the holy month of Ramazan. The people even faced loadshedding during Sehri, Iftar and Taraweeh timings.
“Yes, the ministry gave Rs 20 billion to the power sector today (Thursday),” said Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, while talking to The Nation. He further said the government had released the amount as the power subsidy.
Sources pointed out that the Ministry of Water and Power had requested the Finance Ministry to immediately release Rs 18 billion to control the loadshedding during Eid days. However, the Finance Ministry provided Rs 20 billion so that the masses could take a sigh of relief.
The government would provide Rs 185 billion subsidy to the power sector during the ongoing financial year 2014-2015 of which Rs 156 billion would be given to the Wapda/Pepco and Rs 29 billion to Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).
Earlier, the Finance Ministry had released Rs 40 billion to the power sector before the advent of Ramazan to reduce the electricity loadshedding. The Ministry of Water and Power would give Rs 15 billion to independent power producers (IPPs) and Rs 25 billion to Pakistan State Oil (PSO) out of the released Rs 40 billion.
It was due to the failure of the government to reduce the power outages during the holy month of Ramazan that Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif sought apology from the nation for unscheduled and prolonged hours of loadshedding throughout the country. There was a shortfall of 7,000MW electricity as the demand stood at 19,000MW against the production of 12,000MW, which resulted in a massive loadshedding. The urban areas still continue to face loadshedding for 12 to 14 hours whereas in rural areas it ranges from 18 to 20 hours.