With the power shortfall intensifying further by climbing up to 6,900MW, Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has jumped into action and directed the Ministry of Finance to immediately release Rs 22.5 billion to the Ministry of Water and Power for provision of fuel to thermal power plants.
Various cities in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are witnessing outages of 16 to 22 hours a day and the sudden change in weather leading to intense heat has left the people clamouring for a breather.
The situation is particularly pathetic in rural areas of Punjab, where people are getting only a few hours of electricity.
Per the PM’s Monday order, the Ministry of Finance will forthwith release Rs 15 billion for provision of fuel, while another sum of Rs 7.5 billion would be released subsequently to generate additional power to reduce the gap between demand and supply.
The direction was given by the prime minister in an emergency meeting at the PM’s House that reviewed the energy situation in the country.
The prime minister convened the meeting in the backdrop of increased power outages and outcry from the people.
Khoso said his government was committed to assuage the sufferings of the people and to set the wheels of industry in motion.
The prime minister further directed the Ministries of Water and Power, Finance and Petroleum to maintain close liaison and ensure maximum power generation to minimise load shedding.
The meeting was attended by the ministers for water and power, petroleum and natural resources and adviser on finance.
Citizens have for days raising concern against the prolonged, unscheduled load shedding across the country and have expressed severe reservations over the performance of the Water and Power Ministry.
Citizens complained that the people who paid their dues regularly were being victimised due to defaulters of millions of rupees and the corrupt practices of the distribution companies.
The mercury in several parts of the country has already touched the fifty centigrade mark.