LAHORE -

Caretaker Federal Minister for Water and Power Dr Musadiq Malik said shortage of funds and mismanagement were responsible for loadshedding.

Addressing a joint press conference with Federal Minister for Gas and Petroleum Sohail Wajahat Ali Siddiqui at Wapda House here on Sunday, he said high-ranking officials of Water and Power Development Authority had been changed and expected the situation would improve in two weeks. Accepting his responsibility for loadshedding, he apologised to the nation and said his ministry had taken steps and the energy crisis would be overcome soon.He expected a good decision in favour of the nation could be taken in a meeting with the prime minister to be held on Monday.

He said that 1,2800 megawatt electricity had been generated during election days and no complaint of loadshedding was received in those days. The minister said about 9,500 megawatt electricity was being produced after elections, however, he said more energy could be produced if solid measures were taken.

Talking about defaulters, he said Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) was a private company and it was defaulter of Rs 60 billion.

He hoped the incoming government could overcome the energy crisis in six months and eliminate loadshedding in three years if it followed recommendations of the caretaker government.He said about 250 megawatt energy was being supplied to exempted sectors including health, jails and others from where the department received nothing. Federal Minister for Gas and Petroleum Sohail Wajahat Ali Siddiqui said that gas tariff for all five sectors including domestic, commercial or industrial, fertilizers, CNG and cement sectors had to be revised as there was no other way to manage the energy crisis. He said the ministry was providing additional 150 MMCFT gas to WAPDA for electricity production, adding gas was cheap energy so it was stolen. The minister said gas worth Rs 300 million was stolen  every year which could not be tolerated. He said prices of gas would gradually be increased so that the common man might not be affected.

He said subsidy should be given to targeted and poor people and the rich community should not be provided with subsidy. He said the caretaker government had set up a roadmap for the incoming government and hoped the next government would follow it for the interest of the common man. Directors of all distribution companies and chairman WAPDA board were also present.