Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the country could generate an additional 6,000 megawatts (MW) of hydel power using the natural flow of water, which was linked to the melting of glaciers to address the issue of load shedding in different areas – an issue left unaddressed by the former PTI government.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Premier Shehbaz said that the country had the power generation capacity of 35,000 megawatts (MW), but due to the closure of different power-producing plants run on gas and oil, some parts of the country were facing load shedding for the last few days.
“Unfortunately, the CPEC coal-based plants and the new LNG plants that can produce about 5,000MW, including the one set up in 2019, with a capacity to generate 1,250 MW, has been closed for the last four years and did not produce power during the previous government,” the premier added.
The representatives of the ministries concerned apprised the prime minister that they could not finalise the import of LNG as no one in the previous government was ready to supervise such projects.
PM Shehbaz said the import prices of LNG had surged manifold and now, they stood around $30-35 per unit. “The PML-N during its tenure in 2015-16 reached an agreement with Qatar for the import of LNG and if it had not been materialised, what would have happened now!”
The prime minister also appreciated amir of Qatar’s personal intervention in providing LNG at discounted price.
The prime minister, however, assured that they have been trying to resolve the serious issues on a priority basis. He informed 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 has the power production capacity, but the former incompetent government has brought disasters in every sector of life.”
The prime minister referred to the slow-paced construction work on Rawal Chowk flyover in Islamabad, saying that the project, despite a clear deadline of two years for its completion, had been stalled, multiplying the public and motorists’ woes.
The former PTI government had awarded the contract to a black-listed company which had been penalised in the past.
He said in Punjab, they had delivered such projects within 72 days.
He also condemned the attack on Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, terming it a “fascist act” of the provincial government.
The prime minister also congratulated the newly elected National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Asharf, expressing the hope that he would uphold the Constitution and sanctity of the house supreme.
(With input from APP)