ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to cut power outages by half from November this year under a new three-year supply management plan for the consumers paying their electricity bills regularly, documents show.
However, the consumers in areas where payments for electricity consumption are low or power theft is running high will not get any relief under the plan.
K-Electric, which serves the consumers of Karachi, has already applied this formula which is now being adopted by power distribution companies across the country.
No respite from power outages this summer
The Ministry of Water and Power has also asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to declare 23 big cities of the country free of load-shedding from November 2016, but it has not yet been approved.
Experts call it a political strategy of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government designed to seek the support of increasing number of voters in the 2018 general election.
Under the power supply management plan for 2016-18 approved by the Cabinet Committee on Energy in a meeting on August 30, the outages would be brought down from six hours to three hours per day in urban areas and from eight hours to four hours per day in rural areas from November 2016.
However, the areas where the revenue from power bills stood low or electricity theft was running high would not be part of the new plan and outages there would be for longer durations.
Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha told the cabinet committee, chaired by the prime minister, that industrial feeders were facing no load-shedding across the country.
He gave two proposals for the supply management plan keeping in view the demand and supply gap in the summer of 2017.
Under the first proposal, Dagha pointed out that additional electricity was currently available in the country due to increase in production and better management of the distribution system. Therefore, the Ministry of Water and Power was in a position to slash load-shedding in the urban and rural areas of the country.
Nawaz government poised to see off power outages
The second proposal suggested no electricity load-shedding in 23 big cities of the country and six-hour outages in rural and remaining urban areas of the country.
It was recalled in the cabinet committee meeting that when the current government came to power in mid-2013, the consumers were experiencing the worst load-shedding for up to 13-14 hours a day that disrupted life and business in many parts of the country.
However, average load-shedding has been brought down significantly to 6-8 hours a day and now from November, it will be cut to 3-4 hours.
Courtesy : Express Tribune