Govt pays Rs 473 bln subsidy to power sector during last year
ISLAMABAD: January 21 - Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms & Special Initiatives Asad Umar and Tabish Gohar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Power held a press conference. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jan 21 (APP): Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub on  Thursday said the government had paid Rs 473 billion subsidy to power sector during last year despite economic crunch.

Addressing a press conference accompanied by Minster for Planning and Development Asad Umer and Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Power Tabish Gohar, he said the PTI government inherited capacity payments from PML-N government.

The agreements inked by the PML-N government with power sector were on bad intentions and corrupt practices, he added.

The minister said due to these agreements, the increase in electricity tariff was Rs 2.18 but the present government had decided to increase the rates by Rs 1.95 in per unit.

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He said that the annual capacity payments to IPPs were Rs185 billion in 2013, Rs 468 billion in 2018, Rs 642 billion in 2019, Rs 860 billion in 2020 and would reach Rs 1455 billion in 2023. “These are the land mines, I am talking about,” he said.

Omar Ayub said that the major reason of the recent power breakdown was technical (earthing) .

A high powered investigating committee comprising NTDC, NEPRA and ministry had been constituted to look into the reasons and to address the issues, he added.

According to a preliminary investigation, six to seven officers/officials have been suspended. He said report when finalised, should be submitted to the Power committee besides sharing with media.

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Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power, Tabish Gohar said the government had taken number of initiatives to bring reduction in circular debt.

He said due to the initiatives of the present government Rs 1 to Rs 2 per unit would be reduced in prices of electricity in upcoming years adding that government had made agreements with power sectors as per law and regulations.

The SAPM said with coordination of provinces, federal government would take steps to control the electricity theft.

Tabish Gohar said deficiencies of power companies would be improved and their monopoly would be ended in next three to four years.