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I apologize to nation on power crisis: Raja Pervez Ashraf

Thursday, October 23, 2008 Leave a Comment

ISLAMABAD: Minister for water and power Raja Pervez Ashraf has said the recent rise in power tariff has been suspended adding he apologizes to nation on power crisis.

Minister for water and power said this while addressing a press conference here Thursday in ministry of water and power. He declared old time would be restored from November 1.

Demand and supply issue was behind the power crisis, he said adding supply was not matching with the demand of the electricity. Water supply was in abundance during the holy month of Ramadan, therefore, no energy problem was created. "We are generating 2000 megawatt electricity from hydro sources, he told. Power crisis would come to end by December, next year, he added.

Water is not being supplied to canals from dams, he indicated. Sindh and Punjab were saving the water so that water supply could be made available in surplus for the next wheat crop, he added.

Increasing the power tariff was decision of NEPRA rather than government, he told. It was an autonomous body, which decides to increase the tariff after determining profit and loss, he added. Parliamentarians, lawyers and civil society can challenge the rise in tariff, he pointed out. NEPRA has implemented new power tariff in Karachi, Hyderabad and Multan as power theft and line losses were on higher side in these areas, he said. Ministry of power was not earning profit on electricity, he indicated.

NEPRA proposed 64 percent increase in power tariff, which was rejected by the government, he said. Government had proposed 31 percent increase, he added. Government will have to give subsidy of Rs 65 billion under electricity head.

President and prime minister had constituted a committee under my chairmanship, he told. People from all the segments of society will participate in the meeting. All parliamentarians and members of committee should send proposals to the committee, he said.