Dar stresses integrated energy plan

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has emphasized the need for an integrated plan for the long term to bring down the electricity cost and overcome country’s immediate and future energy needs. 
He said this while chairing a meeting on Pakistan Power Sector Investment Prospects at the Finance Ministry here on Sunday. 
The meeting was convened to discuss both immediate and long term demand and the generation capacity of the country. It was observed that currently there is a short fall of 4000 MW in generation and demand of the power sector and with the future prospects of increased growth rate the demand will further increase in the next five years. It was ascertained that with the projects in pipeline, the country will need to set up cheaper fuel based energy projects to overcome the shortage of energy.
The Finance Minister said that we must be realistic and pragmatic at this stage of planning for the future demand and frame our policies for future investment in the light of that demand. He emphasized on improving energy mix to bring down the generation price which will facilitate the people and industry. He underlined that instead of furnace oil based power projects we should focus on hydel and coal powered projects. He added that international investors including Chinese companies are interested to finance energy projects and we should make integrated plan for the long term to overcome our immediate and future needs.
The Finance Minister further observed that the Ministry of Water and Power must take the recovery side seriously and ensure payment by provinces and reconcile outstanding amount within 60 days, as per decisions made by CCI in its last meeting. 
He hoped that the Ministry will be able to frame policies with the aim to improve situation on both short and long term basis. 
The Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif informed that the Ministry has during the last one year improved on all aspects of power including generation, transmission, distribution and recovery. 
He added that with the focus of political leadership on cheaper fuel based power the power mix will improve significantly. The assured the participants that the priority list for future projects will be determined by keeping in view the right energy mix. Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretaries of Water and Power, Planning and Development and Economic Affairs Division and senior officials of the Finance Ministry also attended the meeting. 

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