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March 14, 2016

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Unbelievable successes in power sector achieved: Secretary Power Yunus Dagha

SUKKUR: Secretary Water and Power Muhammad Yunus Dagha has said the year 2015 has brought unbelievable chain of successes in the power sector. He said this on Sunday at the Commissioner House, while talking to The News exclusively. He said every institution, including the IMF and World Bank, was asking to increase recoveries from 88% to 90%. He said the Wapda team had, in this regard, achieved 93.4% and also reduced losses by 0.5%. He said such benefit of Rs61 billion in one year on these two counts was unprecedented. He said these targets helped in capping the genie of the infamous circular debt of the power sector, which was increasing by almost Rs200 billion annually. In 2015, the increase in circular debt was zero, giving a benefit of Rs200 billion to the sector. He said the department also succeeded in improving other areas of governance as well, like punctuality of employees, reduced corruption rate to zero and initiated accountability system across the board.

He said that tariffs of electricity had been reduced. The department also provided relief to the industrial sector by ensuring zero loadshedding.

The water and power secretary said many officials, including chief executive officers, superintending engineers and executive engineers had have been suspended under the charges of inefficiency. He said many grid stations were overhauled and were generating power.

The secretary said the Chinese assured the Pakistani delegation that finances for the following three power projects will be released in September: (i) 1,320 MW Port Qasim Coal Power Project to be established by Sinohydro Resources Limited, China/Al Mirqab Capital, Qatar, (ii) 1,320 MW Imported Coal Power project, Sahiwal (Punjab), sponsored by Huneng Shandong Ruvi (Pakistan), Energy (Pvt) Limited; and (iii) 300 MW Solar Power project Zonergy in Bahalwalpur. He said it was the result of the good management and added that the department was also determined to provide relief to its clients.

He said the loadshedding policy was equal for all the provinces and the duration loadshedding depends upon recovery of electric feeders. He said there was no loadshedding where recovery of the electric feeder was hundred percent. He said that department will not compromise over recovery and power theft.

Secretary Yunus Dagha said the ministry initiated action against 55 officers, who facilitated the culprits in electricity theft. Regarding recovery of Rs246,900 million receivables, he said the decision was taken in a meeting with chairman and deputy chairman NAB. 

He said PEPCO was facing financial difficulties in discharging its obligations towards Power Sector Companies (PSCs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Seven power distribution companies, including FESCO, HESCO, LESCO, PESCO, QESCO, SEPCO and TESCO could not recover the said amount. He said the ministry had directed all the distribution companies and also asked the NAB to help them for ensuring recoveries as soon as possible, so as to overcome the shortfall of power.

He said the prime minister was taking keen interest to get operational the Neelam Jehlum Power Project and, in this regard, issued strict instructions to the Ministry of Water and Power to complete it within the stipulated time to end loadshedding by the end of 2018.

He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega project of $45 billion, taking bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province to new heights. The project is the beginning of a journey of prosperity of Pakistan and China.

The economic corridor is about 3,000 kilometers long, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect China’s Xinjiang province to the rest of the world through Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. He said it also helped in power generation projects. He said the Chinese government has approved 14 power projects that have the capacity to generate 10,400 megawatts of electricity immediately, while a few more projects, with a combined generation capacity of 6,445 megawatts, would overcome the energy crisis.

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