‘11,000mw more power in next three to four years’

*Pakistan facing power shortfall of 4500mw right now *Dar says provinces to be given Rs 300m more from federal pool

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that menace of electricity load shedding would be exterminated from Pakistan within three to four years by adding 11,000 megawatts power in the national grid.

Responding to opposition's point raised against the budget, he said that Pakistan was enduring the peak power shortfall of 4500mw right now. The government had taken effective steps to reduce line losses from 16 per cent to a respectable level, the minister said.

He said that a massive campaign had been launched to reduce gas and power theft. Refuting the allegations that Nandipur power generation project had stopped producing power, Senator Dar said that the 100mw power generation plant was working.

He said that provinces would be given Rs 300 million more from federal divisible pool during the next financial year. He said that provinces were getting Rs 200 billion more in current year than their share last year. A transparent procedure had been adopted for new appointments in government departments and the appointment of cronies had been made impossible, he said.

Rejecting the allegations against the laptop scheme, he said that Pakistan’s youth had been connected to world’s leading libraries through 3G and 4G. The minister said that a sum of Rs 118 billion had been allocated for the poor segment of life under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), adding that 5.3 million families were benefiting from the scheme as comparing to 4.1 million families during the era of Pakistan People’s Party.

Senator Dar said that crude oil production had been increased from 72,000 barrel to over 100,000 barrel within a period of one year. He said that the government had paid a subsidy of Rs 21 billion to keep oil prices at minimum level. He said that work on the Metro Bus Service project had been initiated with approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

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