Government resolving energy related issues as priority concern and strategizing a roadmap to address them on long-term basis: Dr. Mussadiq Malik

Islamabad, October 29, 2013 (PPI-OT): “The current Government is resolving energy related issues as priority concern and strategizing a roadmap to address them on long-term basis” stated Dr. Mussadiq Malik, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Energy during his presentation at Energy Conference on South Asia organised by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry( SAARC CCI) in collaboration with SAARC Energy Centre and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry yesterday, the 28th October 2013 at a local hotel in Islamabad.

He regarded energy related statistics often quoted by Media as fudged and claimed that the country’s total electricity generation capacity was 13000 MW to 13500 MW instead of boasted 16000 MW to 18000 MW.

“The country was generating 10000 MW to 10500 MW electricity against demand of 13500 MW, creating shortfall of 2500 MW to 3000 MW, which will be brought to zero level within next few years” said Mussadiq Malik and added that Per unit electricity generated by Solar was Rs. 18-20, followed by wind energy Rs. 16-18/unit, diesel from Rs.12-14/unit and hydro from Rs. Rs.8-10/unit while on an average cost of single unit produced by energy mix was around Rs. 9.6 (tax excluding) while the average tariff rate of the Government of Pakistan was only Rs.8/unit, causing allocation of huge subsidies, which subsequently added pressure on the Government and created huge circular debt of Rs.600 billion, an unaffordable burden on economy like Pakistan. Special assistant to PM also challenged the rate of Line and distribution losses more than 24%, which was quite higher as compared with the benchmark figure of 16% determined by NEPRA.

Although the hydropower was the cheapest sources of electricity generation, the cost of equipments and their maintenance was quire higher, leaving scarce option for Pakistan to switch generation of electricity from coal. He articulated that because of multiple effects, the electricity price in Pakistan has become quite uncompetitive as compared with other South Asian countries particularly with India, trading electricity Rs. 7/unit.

He also disclosed that there were 22 million registered consumers, only 300,000 were Industrial consumers, who were the biggest beneficiary of the subsidies (26%) provided by the Government and reiterated for the need of Pubic and private partnerships to address the energy crisis in the country.

Former President SAARC CCI, Mr. Tariq Sayeed said that although the region of South Asia was blessed with enormous energy potential, despite, was unable to tap it. He termed creation of SAARC Energy Centre as important step forward by South Asian leaders, however emphasised for taking prompt actions for implementation Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India( TAPI) Gas Pipeline Projects, which could address the energy crisis on long-term basis.

Mr. Ahmar Ismail, Director SAARC ( ETS) said that heads of states of South Asia have given particular focus to address energy related issues and SAARC had taken a lot of measures through creation of experts groups and technical committees.

Mr. Hilal Raza, Director SAARC Energy Centre (SEC) said that the region had the least per capita energy consumption, which will have to be increased to attain the persistent economic growth. SAARC Energy Centre has presented idea of SAARC Energy Grid, which will help meet energy demands in future.

While in his welcome address, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President SAARC CCI said that although the present Government had been able to control power cuts to some extent, it will have to pursue long-term measures to address energy crisis, which had been badly affecting the industrial and commercial activities in Pakistan.

Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General, SAARC CCI while moderating the session regarding un-interrupted supply of energy at affordable cost as an integral part of the policies of the Government of South Asia and pre-requisite for the region to keep pace with the global economic development. Begum Salam Ahmed, Vice Chairperson of SAARC CCI Women Entrepreneurs Council (Pakistan) offered vote of thanks.

The inaugural session was followed by a technical session, which was addressed by experts on Energy from South Asian countries including Dr. S. M. Nasif Shams, Lecturer, Institute of Renewable Energy, Bangladesh, Engr. Dorji Yangka, Energy Economist, Bhutan, Dr. Muhammad Irfan Khan, Dean, Environmental Sciences, IIUI, and Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala, DG- Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Energy Authority, Sri Lanka

For more information, contact:
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber Of Commerce and Industry
Apex Business Organization of SAARC
House No. 397, Street 64, I-8/3, Islamabad- Pakistan
Tel: +9251 486 0611 -3, 831 6023
Fax: +9251 831 6024

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