Electricity demand rises 15%; good omen for economy: minister

Web DeskWeb Editor

12th Jul, 2021. 07:29 pm

ISLAMABAD: The electricity demand during the last one year witnessed a growth of 15 per cent, which showed that the national economy is moving in the right direction, a senior government official said on Monday.

During the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Power meeting, presided over by its Chairman Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said that last year the demand for electricity was 23,000MW, which shoots up to 24,000MW to 24,500MW in June.

“When PTI came into power, the transmission and distribution had the maximum load capacity of 20,000MW, which increased to 24,000MW so far, but still we faced [a] lot of problems because of [the] increased demand, incidents of tripping and faults in the system become quite frequent,” he said.

The minister said to avert incidents of tripping and overloading, the government allocated record funds during this fiscal year to upgrade the transmission and distribution system, adding that priority would be given to those transmission lines where tripping is quite frequent.

Regarding the load-shedding, the minister said, prolonged winter season in the Northern Areas and early arrival of summer in the plain areas of the country was the major reason for the electricity shortfall, adding that the slow melting process of glaciers in June resulted in 80 per cent reduced production of electricity, and even till now, it is not running on full capacity.

Federal Secretary for Power Ali Raza Bhutta said that because of the poor recovery, the government is unable to invest on the transmission and distribution system, which is causing a lot of problems for the consumers, as well.

“If we sell 100 rupees of electricity, we recovered just 70 rupees and this shortfall is causing massive circular debt and shackled the discos [distribution companies] and [the] Ministry of Power from upgrading the system.”

MNA Lal Chand expressed concern over 10 to 12 hours of electricity load-shedding in Hyderabad, on which the secretary assured him of the resolution of the issue, as the Ministry of Power has identified three distribution companies, the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) for massive investment to overcome line losses.

Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that the electricity theft is a major reason for the increase in the circular debt, adding that in his constituency, he is fully cooperating with the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) officials to curb this menace.

However, he said because of the water shortage, the farmers need electricity to run tube-wells. The minister assured him that the electricity would be provided to these farmers soon.

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