NEPRA blocking alternate energy projects

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ISLAMABAD - Minister for Water and Power Tasneem Qureshi on Friday held the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) responsible for the overall electricity crisis, adding that the NEPRA chairman was creating hurdles in the way of alternate energy projects despite clear directives from the prime minister to complete them.

Starting with a delay of 40 minutes, the 10th sitting of the National Assembly’s ongoing 50th session opened with Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza in the chair and only 57 legislators. The speaker chaired the sitting for 27 minutes, whereas the rest of the proceeding was supervised by a panel of chairpersons led by Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor.
Most of the agenda items in Friday’s session, which lasted an hour and six minutes, remained unaddressed including a bill, a motion under Rule 259, a standing committee report and a calling attention notice.

During the Question Hour, Minister for Water and Power Tasneem Qureshi said that the energy crisis would soon be dealt with. He said that the recent countrywide power blackout was caused due to overload on HUBCO power plant that tripped all other projects. He added that the issue was resolved within eight hours.
“A committee was formulated and it is looking into the matter,” Qureshi said, adding that solar panels were being assembled locally and would be installed all over the country soon. He said a recommendation had been made to replace diesel generators with solar panels and that no duty charges had been imposed on the import of solar panels from abroad. “About 225,000 energy savers have been distributed by various power distribution companies in the country,” Qureshi said, adding that during the last tenure the focus was on domestic load shedding, however, at present the goal was to limit outages in industries.

He made a complaint before the legislators against the NEPRA chairman, saying that he was creating issues in finalising the tariff of alternate energy and was posing hurdles in this connection despite clear directions from the prime minister to maintain the power supply at every cost.
Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor told the minister that NEPRA fell under his ministry so he should be the one taking action against the chairman.
Meanwhile, lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) staged a protest against increase in petrol prices.
Criticising the government, PML-N’s Pervaiz Malik said the recent increase in petroleum prices was a great injustice towards general masses, following which the PML-N staged a protest walkout.

Asif Husnain from the MQM was of the view that the recent price hike in the petroleum products was out of the recommendations made by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), and was anti-public.


Courtesy: Pakistan Today

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