Friday Jun 17 2022

Energy ministry refutes reports of proposed supply cuts to commercial feeders

— Reuters/File
— Reuters/File

The Ministry of Energy on Friday refuted reports that a proposal to cut power supply to commercial feeders in the evenings is under consideration.

"There is no truth to reports in electronic and print media of [proposed] supply cuts to commercial feeders. There is no proposal under consideration to turn off supply to commercial feeders from 7pm-10pm," the ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

It was reported a day earlier that in a major move to conserve electricity amid skyrocketing fuel prices, the Power Division has decided to cut supply to commercial feeders from 7pm to 10pm daily all over Pakistan.

The reports, quoting Power Division sources, said that the energy ministry has prepared a summary for the cabinet's approval.

The sources said that no load-shedding on the commercial feeders will take place in the day.

If implemented, a saving of 5,000MW of electricity is expected from the move, the sources added.

The sources further disclosed that supply to tube well feeders will also be cut from 7pm to 11pm, which will result in 3,000MW being saved.

Approval for both the suggestions will be sought this week from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet, the sources said.

Start early, close early

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif emphasised on the need for a united effort to deal with the power crisis in the country.

The defence minister said that a huge amount of electricity can be saved if people start their businesses early in the morning and close by Maghrib prayers. He said that saving electricity means saving oil.

"Neither will we have to use expensive oil that much, nor will the consumers have to bear the burden of expensive electricity if we do this," he said, adding that it is just a fundamental change that people need to bring into their lives.

Asif went on to say that Pakistan will have to see what others around it are doing.

He said that 3,500MW of electricity can be saved this way and the saving can go beyond 4,000MW if Karachi follows the suggestion.

He, however, said that traders are currently not willing to accept the idea.

“They accepted this during COVID-19 due to the fear of the virus," he said.

The minister urged the government to impose the restriction and for the people to accept it.

"It will benefit the common man and acquisition of commodities at lower prices will become a possibility."

He said that the government will bear the responsibility to reduce the inflation and the difficulties faced by the common man. He also said that the fuel prices would go down if the Russian-Ukraine war stops.