ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Power Syed Ali Zafar says the causes of load-shedding observed early this month have been overcome and the electricity demand and supply gap will almost be zero in the current month.
He was addressing a joint news conference along with Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr. Shamshad Akhtar in Islamabad this afternoon.
The Minsiter expressed hope that power generation will increase next month and load-shedding will be totally overcome.
Giving reasons for the recent unannouncded loadshedding, Syed Ali Zafar said there was extreme shortage of water in dams and Port Qasim and Balloki power plants also developed technical faults, which caused over 5000 MW reduction in power in the national grid.
He said water level in dams has increased after rains and the technical faults in the plants have been removed, and now the situation has considerably improved.
Syed Ali Zafar said at present 21,000 to 22000 megawatts of electricity is being produced against the demand of 23,000 to 24,000 MW, facing a shortfall of 2000 MW. He said the country has a total installed capacity of 28,000 MW. Expressing the caretaker government's commitment for transparent elections, Syed Ali Zafar, who also holds portfolio of Information Ministry, assured that they will fully support to the Election Commission to hold free, fair and peaceful elections.
He categorically stated that the caretaker government will make no compromise on security of the country and take all necessary decisions in best national interest.
The Information Minister said the government will perform its responsibilities according to its constitutional mandate without indulging into any blame game. He said the caretaker government will leave guidelines for the upcoming elected government to follow them if it wants.
Speaking on the occasion, the careakter Finance Minister said the recent increase in oil prices is linked to the rise in prices of petroleum products in international market.
She said only fifty percent impact of the increase in international market has been passed on to the consumers. She said oil prices in Pakistan are still lower as compared to the neighboring countries of the region.
The Minister said the country will not enter into any agreement or negotiations with IMF. She, however, said the caretaker setup will take care of the macroeconomic challenges being faced by the country.
Regarding economic condition of the country, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said the GDP growth remained very strong as it is broad-based. She said every sector, including agriculture and services, made a substantial growth, and there was massive investment in the country.
The Minister said Current Account Deficit is increasing as it has reached 14 billion dollars, which is 1.6 percent of the GDP. She said exports are showing positive trend; fiscal deficit is running at a higher level of 6.1 percent against the target of 4.1 percent; and overall public debt is also rising.
Answering a question, the Finance Minister said the caretaker government will honor debt repayments.