Accord with IPPs to reduce power generation cost: Omar Ayub

APP38-17 ISLAMABAD: August 17 – Federal Minister for Power and Petroleum Omer Ayub addressing a press conference. APP photo by Irshad Sheikh

ISLAMABAD, Aug 17 (APP): Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan on Monday said reduction in the cost of power generation was part of the government’s reform agenda, and signing of an agreement with the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was a step towards its fulfillment.

The accord would not only help cut the power generation cost, but also improve the electricity distribution system in the country, he said while addressing a press conference here flanked by Special Assistant of the Prime Minister on Power Shahzad Qasim.

The minister said the power sector reforms, with improvement in the electricity distribution system would benefit both the common consumers and industries, besides decreasing the circular debt.

The negotiations with the IPPs, he said, were held in a congenial environment. The power accords of 1994, 2002 and 2006 were reviewed with the IPPs. The agreement was signed in the larger national interest, which was also inked by the foreign sponsors. It would also promote the industrial sector, he added.

Omar Ayub said the power sector reforms would be made public in next three weeks. Tariff of the state-owned power producers would also be reviewed, he added.

The minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government inherited grave power sector problems as the past regimes did nothing to improve the sector.

He said the present government was going to introduce reforms in the energy sector, which would enable Pakistan to generate 70 per cent energy through indigenous resources by 2030. The past governments had changed the energy mix where 70 per cent energy was being generated through expensive imported fuel.

Omar Ayub said tube-wells in Balochistan cost Rs 44 billion annually, which was not being recovered. The total development budget of Balochistan stood at Rs 80 billion and the amount could be spent on the welfare of the people, he added.