Pakistan: Cheaper electricity scheme to be launched for winter in Nov

ISLAMABAD (Ahmed Mughal):- The PTI Govt has been planning to launch a cheaper electricity scheme to introduce a flat rate of electricity in winter season by eliminating peak hour’s system, the Secretary Power Irfan Ali disclosed it in the meeting of Senate’s Standing Committee on Power.

The Committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Fida Muhammad Khan here in Parliament House Islamabad.

Cheaper electricity scheme

While briefing the committee, the secretary Power said that that under the proposal of Senator Nouman Wazir from treasury benches, the ministry has been envisaging a scheme to provide cheaper electricity to consumers in winter season. He said that the govt will announce the scheme in Nov 2019.

Irfan Ali said that under the scheme, the Govt will provide electricity to all consumers at flat rate by eliminating peak hour’s system.

From April to October, peak hours are from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. From November to March, peak hours are from 6pm to 10pm. During these peak hours, you will be charged a fixed rate of Rs20.70 per unit of electricity. The Govt collects Rs 15 per unit maximum rate from remaining period.

The Secretary said that the scheme will be also helpful for easing from pressure on gas system in winter season. In winter, the domestic users consume maximum gas for heating and cooking. Cheaper electricity will be helpful to divert the consumers from gas to electricity.

Circular debt

Responding a question, the secretary said that the circular debt has been mounted again at Rs.1.2 trillion. The circular debt has barred to the investment in energy sector.

The Govt is trying to reduce the circular debt and it is expected that its flow will come down at zero in Dec 2020, he added. He said that the country had been adding circular debt by Rs38 billion every month in last year. Now, it has been increasing 13 billion monthly.

Power theft

While responding of a query, he said that government is trying to reduce power theft. There is political will to deal with this challenge Irfan Ali said.

He said that almost 1000 plaza have been thieving electricity in Haiderabad, Sindh. The Relevant power supplier company HESCO has identified it and took action. Now, still half of the plaza are thieving electricity.

Irfan Ali said that the country’s installed capacity is almost 32000 megawatt and using maximum 17’000 megawatt. The country has to pay installed capacity paying as per agreements with different IPPs and Gencos. The Government should not only revisit the agreements but also try to increase the usage.

The experts believe that the county has surplus electricity mainly due to the power projects of last Govt of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz. The former government had injected 10,000 mega watt in its five year tenure from 2013 to 2018.

It has completed three RLNG power plants which have been producing 3600 mega watt. The Neelum Jehlum Hydro Power projects also has 969 megawatt capacity. It has also completed some other projects projects.

No one government has given importance to the country’s transmission system which is not only 50 years old but also failed to transmit to end users even 17,000 megawatt in summer.

Some experts and officials also estimated that country needed $100 billion investment to upgrade the electricity transmission system. The country also paying heavy cost of this outdated transmission system by high line losses rate. Some Distribution Companies including Quetta Electric Supply Company, Tribal Electric Supply Company, Haiderabad Electric Supply Company, Sukhar Electrtic Supply Company facing heavy line losses due to its outdated electricity transmission system.

Power theft is also an other challenge for power sector of the country. Peshawar Electric Supply Company is on top which is facing huge power theft.