ISLAMABAD - Directing the concerned officials to meet the timeline for completion of new power generation projects, Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif said that load-shedding in coming summer must be restricted to six hours in urban and eight hours in rural areas of the country.

Premier Sharif has expressed these views while chairing the 10th meeting of Cabinet Committee on Energy here at Prime Minister's House on Tuesday.

Chairman PPIB gave presentation on Power Generation Policy 2015. He informed the committee that previous power policies of 1994 and 2002 were restrictive and did not cater to the new fuels that are being added to the power generation system i.e. coal and LNG. He explained salient features of the new policy as well as major improvements being recommended.

He informed the committee that a new policy is needed in order to address the concerns arising due to use of new fuels and delayed payments to power generation companies.

The new policy, after formulation, will be put up before the Council of Common Interest for approval whose meeting would be convened next week.

Secretary Water and Power gave a presentation on projected demand and supply during summers of 2015 along with a load management plan.

The prime minister said that more electricity would soon be available in the system and directed that load-shedding in summers should not be more than six hours in urban areas and no more than eight hours in rural areas in summer.

The Prime Minister directed that steps should be taken for improving security of plants and transmission lines. He asked the Water and Power Ministry to look into the possibility for improving its own capacity for providing security to the transmission lines.

The Prime Minister also gave directions that electricity should be provided to the villages near the plants in Balochistan.

He said that distribution companies, especially LESCO, should be directed to remove their internal distribution system constraints.

The prime minister was informed about progress on 3600 MWs LNG based power projects along with timelines for whose execution a National Power Management Company along with three subsidiary companies have been formed for execution of these projects.

According to the timeline by August 2017 combined cycle generating 3600 MW would be completed while open cycle would be started by the end of 2016. The prime minister directed that all timelines should be strictly followed so that power generation could be started before the deadline.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum; Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning; Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water & Power; Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab; Abid Sher Ali, MOS for Water & Power; Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to PM on National Security; Tariq Fatemi, SAPM on Foreign Affairs and Secretary Water and Power.