ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday, in a big move to facilitate the general public, announced an end to load-shedding of electricity across the country from May 1 and onwards.
The prime minister, also famed as ‘Shehbaz Speed’ for his efficiency to deliver at a fast pace, declared that the government had operationalized 20 out of 27 major power producers, which were shut down for a year.
Chairing a high-level meeting to devise a policy to address the shortage of electricity, PM Sharif said the step was an ‘Eid gift’ for the public who had been suffering frequent power outages in summers.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to resolve all the issues pertaining to load-shedding by April 30 so as to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted power supply to consumers.
He stressed establishing an integrated and sustainable fuel system to meet the requirements of power generation and also a plan keeping in view the hot season in particular.
PM Shehbaz called for a long-term effective plan to eliminate the loss of feeders of the power distribution companies.
He took notice of the complaints of artificial shortage of diesel during harvesting and directed the relevant authorities to identify the perpetrators and ensure strict action.
The prime minister emphasized an uninterrupted supply of diesel to farmers to run agricultural machinery and urged the district administration in rural areas to facilitate the farmers.
The meeting was briefed that the re-operationalization of the 20 power plants had increased power generation.
It was pointed out that the previous government did not purchase fuel for power plants in four years which led to load-shedding.
However, the government of PM Shehbaz within two weeks managed the availability of fuel besides increasing the capacity of electricity generation.
It was informed that the total power generation in the country was about 18,500 megawatts while the shortfall was between 500 to 2,000 megawatts.
The prime minister was also briefed in detail about the loss-making feeders of the distribution companies.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and relevant senior officials.
PM Shahbaz Sharif, soon after assuming his office, had ordered to operationalize power plants in the country that were shut down due to lack of fuel or other technical glitches.
He had also ordered to address other causes of load-shedding including negligence in timely repair and lack of maintenance of power plants.