The Power Division on Thursday informed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that there was currently no shortage of electricity in the country and power plants were closed because they either did not have fuel or faced technical difficulties.
The Power Division blamed the “incompetence” of the previous PTI regime for the problems faced by the sector. PM Shehbaz was further informed that 18 power plants in the country were not functioning for the last one year because of being closed or having developed technical faults.
The Power Division added that these power plants were closed because of faulty wiring or their belts were broken. It added that seven other power plants were shut down because they did not have fuel. Nine plants were closed because they had not paid their bills.
The premier was further told that the previous PTI government had not fixed the technical faults in time or replaced spare parts. Most of the defects are administrative in nature and some are related to policy decisions.
The 18 power plants include Port Qasim, Guddu, Muzaffargarh, Kot Addu Power Company and Jamshoro. The seven power plants that shut down because of the lack of fuel include Nandipur and Sahiwal, which generate electricity using cheap coal.
A total of nine power plants have been shut down since December 2021 because of their failure to pay bills and lack of money to buy fuel. They have a total electricity generating capacity of 3,535 MW. The 18 plants closed because of technical faults could generate a total of 3,605 MW of electricity. PM Shehbaz expressed his displeasure over the situation and directed that the technical defects should be rectified immediately.
“The people are suffering from power outages. Such negligence is unbearable,” PM SHehbaz noted, directing the authorities concerned to take immediate action. Separately, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has taken notice of the power outages in the country. It held the shut power plants responsible for the problem. NEPRA has summoned the heads of power plants closed because of fuel shortage or technical glitches at its headquarters on Friday (today).
It has also called the National Power Control Centre (NPCC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) into the huddle. The authority has also summoned distribution companies including K-Electric on April 19 over consumers’ complaints. PM Shehbaz also presided over a huddle of economic experts to chalk out a strategy to lift the country out of its financial woes. He directed his economic team to formulate an economic reforms strategy on an emergency basis.
Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz on Friday asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq to submit a report on the receipt of taxes. During a meeting with the prime minister, the BFR chairman briefed him about the FBR’s current tax revenues. He also apprised him of the overall performance of FBR.