Sunday Apr 17, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday said that the country had the capacity of 35,000 megawatts of power generation — sufficient to meet its power needs — but due to the closure of different power-producing plants run on gas and oil, different parts of Pakistan had been facing load shedding for the last few days.
Speaking in the National Assembly, the prime minister said that about 6,000 MW of hydel power could be generated which was linked to the melting of glaciers and the availability of water.
"But unfortunately, the CPEC coal-based plants and the new LNG plants that could produce about 5,000 MW power, including the one set up during 2019, with a capacity to generate 1,250 MW, had been closed for the last four years, therefore it could not produce the power during the previous government."
The former government did not give priority to such projects due to their incompetency, corruption and mismanagement, he added.
The premier said that new plants could not generate power due to the unavailability of gas or expensive oil. He said that the ministries concerned apprised him that they could not finalise the import of LNG as no one in the previous government was ready to supervise such projects.
He said the prices of LNG import had surged manifold and now, the price stood around 30-35 dollars per unit.
During 2015-16, the previous government of PML-N had reached an agreement with Qatar for the import of LNG and if it had not been done, what would have happened now, he recalled.
The prime minister also appreciated Amir of Qatar’s personal intervention to provide LNG at a discounted price.
He, however, assured the people they have been trying to resolve the serious issues on a priority basis. He said that he had held a number of meetings with the ministries concerned.
Criticising his predecessor, the prime minister said the former government was indifferent to the public issues, calling them "stone-hearted."
"The country had the capacity to power production, but the former incompetent government had brought disasters in every sector of life."
The prime minister referred to the slow-paced construction work on Rawal Chowk flyover in Islamabad said that the project despite a clear deadline for its completion within two years, had been stalled, multiplying public and motorists’ woes.
"The contract was awarded to a black-listed company by the PTI’s government which had been penalised in the past," he said, adding that he had delivered such projects within 72 days in Punjab.
PM Shehbaz Sharif condemned an attack on the deputy speaker in Punjab assembly, terming it the provincial government’s fascist act.
The prime minister congratulated the newly elected National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Asharf and expressed the hope that he would uphold the constitution and sanctity of the house supreme.
He also expressed his resolve to work closely with Saudi Arabia to enhance and further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.