ISLAMABAD     -    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf own Parliamentarian Friday deplored the high electricity prices in the country saying that the cost of electricity has reached to Rs18 per unit. The electricity meters are running at very fast speed and the electricity is too costly, said MNA from government benches, Noor Alam Khan while talking in the National Assembly standing committee on Energy. The meeting of the Standing Committee on Energy was held under the Chairmanship of Dr. Imran Khattak. Noor Alam Khan said the monthly bills are very high as the electricity cost has reached to Rs18 per unit, he maintained.  

Interestingly, MNA Noor Alam Khan who hails from government party also complained that in his constituency, even his own projects are being stopped. He alleged that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has removed his ongoing schemes developmental portfolio. The government has decided that it would provide new gas connections of only imported Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) to the industrial sector, as there is shortage of system gas in the country, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan said this before a parliamentary panel here Friday.

He said that they the government is working on increasing the local production of oil and gas and for this purpose, it would hold bidding for 40 new blocks for oil and gas exploration by December 2019, minister said this while briefing National Assembly’s standing committee on Energy. The committee met here with the MNA Imran Khattak in the chair. 

Pakistan’s gas production is 3.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) while demand is 6 bcfd, while the previous government to the gas companies to the brink of default. In next few years, demand would increase would 7 bcfd, he said.   He further said that the local system gas price is Rs750 mmbtu, while imported RLNG price is more than Rs1400 per mmbtu.

Akhtar Mengal said that electricity demand in Balochistan was 1500 mw while the transmission capacity is only 500 mw. The laying of transmission lines from Quetta to Gwadar will be completed by 2021, the minister added. He further said that Saudi Arabia is also installing a power plant of 500 MWs in Baluchistan. “We are spending Rs85 to Rs100 billion for up gradation of power transmission/ distribution system across the country,” Omar Ayub said.

Members of the opposition parties have objected that why the government was re-inaugurating the some schemes which are initiated by the previous governments, Omar Ayub said that it is always the prerogative of the government to inaugurate the schemes.  Mutaza Javed Abbasi and Minister Omar Ayub also exchanged harsh words during the committee meeting. Abbasi said that for the schemes for which he had issued the funds, but now the PTI is taking its credit and inaugurating it again.  The minister has also inaugurated those schemes which are near to completion.

Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that if you are fond of installing plaques then you do it, but we are not interested. The plaques are also installed at graves and schemes.  We are always been in opposition, our plaques are being demolished.

While briefing the committee, Omar Ayub said that in Peshawar Circle, the government is laying 30 to 50 kilometers of Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC) to control electricity theft. We are also reducing low-tension (LT) lines and increasing the high-tension (HT) lines.  

Omer Ayub Khan, Minister for Energy said that alternative and renewable sources of energy is the way forward for the country, and in this regard the latest technology comprising of Solar panels is being looked into which will help in reducing the load shading of Electricity and Gas all over the country. The Minister reiterated that digging of new gas wells in Balochistan will be resolved amicably. He further told that the indigenous production of Gas has decreased in the country and in this regard the import of LNG will help reduce the gap. The Committee asked the OGDCL not to compromise on the environment while digging new wells and the closure of pits.        

The meeting was attended by Junaid Akber, Malik Anwar Taj, Noor Alam Khan, Shahid Ahmed, Muhammad Akhtar Mengal, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Roshanuddin Junejo and Secretary Power Division.