Dar tells Power Ministry to take recoveries seriously

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Monday asked the Ministry of Water and Power to take the recovery side seriously, ensure payment by provinces and reconcile outstanding amount within 60 days as per the decisions of Council of Common Interests (CCI) taken in its last meeting. 
He expressed the hope that the ministry would be able to frame policies with the aim to improve situation on both short and long term basis.
The minister was chairing a meeting on ‘Pakistan Power Sector Investment Prospects’ here at the Finance Ministry. The meeting  discussed both immediate and long term demand and the generation capacity of the country. 
It was observed that currently there was a shortfall of 4,000MW in power generation and its demand and with the future prospects of increased growth rate the demand would further increase in next five years. It was noted that with the projects in pipeline, the country would need to set up cheaper fuel-based energy projects to overcome the energy shortage.
The finance minister said, “We must be realistic and pragmatic at the planning stage for the future demand and frame our policies for future investment in the light of demand.”
He emphasized on improving energy mix to bring down the generation price, which would 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, were interested to finance energy projects and “we should make an integrated plan for the long term to overcome our immediate and future needs.”
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif informed the meeting that the ministry had during the last one year improved on all aspects of power, including generation, transmission, distribution and recovery. 
With the focus of political leadership on cheaper fuel based power, the power mix would improve significantly, he added and assured that the priority list for future projects would be determined by keeping in view the right energy mix. 

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