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January 8, 2015

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Sindh seeks PM’s help to stop NTDC move

KARACHI: Sindh government has sought the Prime Minister’s help to stop a likely move of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) to withdraw 650 megawatts of electricity from the K-Electric system, a communiqué said.
The provincial chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, in a letter to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said the withdrawal of 650MW will have negative fallouts.
“The withdrawal will lead to massive increase in social and political problems, huge losses in industrial output, increase in power tariffs and growing burden on government because of increased tariff differential claims,” Shah said in a letter written on January 1.
The letter, a copy of which available with The News, said 650 megawatts hardly makes four to five percent of the total national grid capacity. “It will be unfair and detrimental if 650MW of supply from NTDC is interrupted or stopped,” the Chief Minister said.
Home to 20 million residents, Karachi accounts for more than 25 to 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, around 30 percent in manufacturing sector and over 90 percent in financial sector and contributes over 65 percent towards the total revenue collection.
The city’s two ports handle 95 percent of the seaborne trade of the country.
“With upcoming coal and nuclear power projects, Karachi will emerge as a power hub for export of power to other parts of the country,” he said. “Government of Sindh and KE’s future expansion plans will enable it (electric supplier) to attain self-sufficiency in power by 2020.”
The chief minister mentioned the rights of the provinces over the national resources after the enactment of the 18th amendment in the constitution.
Sindh province contributes more than 65 percent of the gas being produced in the country, whereas it consumes less than 35 percent.
“As per the Article 158 of the constitution, it is fundamental right of the citizens of Sindh, and particularly

Karachi to have due share from the national power pool,” he said.
“While the federal and provincial governments play their part in meeting the growing demands on limited energy supplies, reviving and safeguarding the engine of economic growth is also equally important,” he said.
The only vertically-integrated power utility in Pakistan, Karachi Electric generates almost 52 percent electricity through its own system, supplying power in the city and to the parts of Balochistan.
The minster Shah was appreciative of the utility’s performance.
“KE’s success stories need to be highlighted to attract foreign investment through privatisation of distribution and generation companies,” Shah said. “During the energy crisis KE, with the support of national grid, has been the resilient power utility company, diligently ensuring power supply to the residents of Karachi and parts of rural Sindh and Balochistan.”
The chief minister requested the Prime Minister to direct Ministry of Water and Power and NTDC to continue to supply 650MW to Karachi from the national grid.

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