2665MW power added to system, NA told

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has added 2665MW additional electricity in the system during the last three years.

While taking part in the debate on the Budget-2015-16 and responding to the speech of the opposition leader about completion of power projects, he said that almost all power projects would be completed at the end of 2018.

He said that coal project at Port Qasim would be completed on June 2018, Extension of Tarbela Dam by June 2017, units (C-3) and (C-4) of Chashma Nuclear Power Project will be completed by the end of 2016, Sahiwal Coal Power Project on March 2017, Neelum Jehlum hydro Power project by August 2017, Engro, Thar Power project by June 2019 and other most of the power project would be completed by end 2017.

He said that at this time total capacity of power generation is 18000MW and at the end of 2018 it will become 31000MW. We will able to add 11000MW electricity at the end of 2018 in the system.

He said that there was 7000 MW shortfall when PML-N came into power. Now, there is 4000MW maximum and 3200 average shortfall, he said.

He said that 600MW of electricity has also been rehabilitated from the existing units during this period. The minister said the government is making hectic efforts to ensure there is no load-shedding during Sehr and Iftar times.

He said electricity supply and demand gap has decreased almost half than in the previous government.

Khawaja Asif said 36 billion dollars are being invested on energy plants under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The minister said that those areas would face more load shedding where the recovery is less. He said that billion rupees are receivable from the provinces.

He said that Rs 122 billion are receivables from Balochistan, Rs 31 billion from Punjab and Rs 71 billion from Sindh. He said that Rs 150 billion are receivables bill from tube-wells for agriculture.

Taking part in the budget debate, PTI MNA Shafqat Mahmood dubbed the budget document a collection of “fudged and false figures.”

He said the budget is just a plethora of words as this offers nothing substantive on tax collection and increasing the revenue.

Mahmood said the government has announced an increment of 10 percent in salaries of the government employees, but an allocation for this increase isn’t mentioned in the budget.

The government has added a specific amount of Coalition Support Fund in the budget, but the United States has mentioned the same in its own budget.

Talking about the circular debt, he said that two audit reports of Auditor General of Pakistan have raised serious questions about the clearance of the circular debt.

One audit report even says that there is no proper documentation of Rs190 billion paid to the Internal Power Producers, he said.

He urged the speaker to circulate the audit reports in the house for perusal of the members.

Mahmood also said that 40 percent to 90 percent economy of the country is undocumented, but the government is taking no measures to make this undocumented to documented economy.

Taking part in the debate, Pervaiz Malik appreciated the performance of the Ministry of Finance for taking proposals from business community before preparing the budget.

He said a comprehensive package has been given in the budget for development of agriculture sector.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said there should be no discrimination in duration of load-shedding for urban and rural areas. He said the circular debt is again increasing.

Nawab Yusuf Talpur in his speech said that agriculture is backbone of economy and this sector cannot be ignored.

Appreciating concessions given on fertilizers he said sales tax in agriculture sector should be abolished for growth of this sector. He criticized for allocating less funds for development in Sindh Province.

Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal criticized the opposition members for making political statements instead of giving concrete proposals for improving the economy during the budget debates.

He said 3600MW LNG based electricity will be added in the national grid. He said PML-N Government believes in practical work for the betterment of the country rather than raising hollow slogans.

He said Government is taking practical steps to eliminate corruption. He said while giving proposals that government should introduce wheat markets at union council. He said that government should buy wheat from farmers.

Participating in the debate, Shah Jee Gul Afridi stressed the need for making the Gwadar Port fully operational at the earliest. –Business Recorder