PM directs urgent measures to reduce electricity tariff; curb theft

File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday directed the Ministry of Power to take urgent measures to reduce the electricity tariff and burden on the consumers caused by the power theft and line losses.
Chairing a meeting of Energy Task Force here at the PM Office, he ordered to immediately launch crack down against the power thieves as it would not be tolerated to make the people bear the brunt of others’ theft and mismanagement.
The prime minister said for the first time, the government was formulating the energy polices keeping in view the country’s needs for another 25 years to fulfill the future domestic and industrial needs besides ensuring energy mix and and devising a well coordinated framework for energy policy.
During he briefing given to the prime minister, it was told that steps were being taken to reduce dependence on the imported fuel and exploit the local resource to the maximum level.
He was apprised that Punjab government had formed a task force under the chief minister Punjab to curb power theft and the deputy commissioners concerned would crack down against power theft in their respective districts. Other provinces had also been directed to follow the suit, it was told.
The meeting was told that large scale use of technology was being made to improve power transmission and distribution that would also help reduce the issues like power theft.
The prime minister directed the Power Division to formulate a comprehensive plan to include the representatives of different companies to resolve the issues in supply of quality power transformers.
The meeting decided to give special attention to the exploration of oil and gas.
The prime minister was apprised that Pakistan was rich of world’s ninth largest reserves of shale gas but the previous governments paid no heed to exploit those resources.
It was told that not even a single block was awarded during last five and half years while the incumbent government would soon finalize the award of 10 blocks in a transparent manner. The process to award another 30 blocks would be started that would also comprise holding of road shows at international level to attract the firms.
The prime minister was apprised that 41 blocks were awarded in the past, spread over 41 percent parts of the country, where only four percent of the work could be completed so far.
The meeting also reviewed the impediments in exploration of oil and gas and decided to get the services of Oil and Gas Development Company to conduct the seismic survey to accelerate the exploration.
The prime minister directed the urgent measures to resolve the security related issues confronting the oil and gas exploring firms. The Frontier Constabulary would give protection cover to the firms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was decided.
The meeting was told that the foreign companies having winded up their operations in Pakistan could be brought back by addressing the impediments in oil and gas exploration.
The prime minister welcomed the return of world-renowned exploration firm Exxon to Pakistan and resolved that the government would extend all out facilities to it in the country.