‘Govt committed to developing systematic, cost-effective energy sector’

  • Minister says lack of integrated energy planning in the past affected the country’s energy sector and consequentially its economic growth

ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said on Thursday that the government was committed to developing a systematic and cost-effective energy sector.

Chairing the 2nd steering committee meeting on Integrated Energy Planning for Sustainable Development in Islamabad, Khusro Bakhtiar said efforts were being made to provide affordable energy to the masses while a robust energy policy was being formulated in coordination with all stakeholders for sustained economic growth.

He said that the lack of integrated energy planning in the past affected the country’s energy sector and consequentially its economic growth. Bakhtiar said the incumbent government was fully committed to launching this initiative and in this regard had constituted a task force on energy.

The minister highlighted that the government was also working on renewable energy policy so as to tap the indigenous resources. He noted that the cost of renewable energy technologies has come down, adding that the government would encourage competitive bidding for tariff determination for future renewable energy projects which would bring down the per megawatt generation cost.

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He said that the government would prioritise the energy infrastructure needs in the next Public Sector Development Programme in order to bridge the gap between transmission and distribution of the energy supply chain.

Speaking on the occasion, USAID Pakistan Mission Director Jerrry Bisson said that the agency would continue to extend cooperation for integrated energy planning initiative.

Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, Prime Minister Task Force on Energy Chairman Nadeem Babar, Special Assistant to PM on Power Shahzad Qasim, representatives from USAID Pakistan and US Department of Energy were also present in the meeting.

It is pertinent to mention that USAID Pakistan and Planning Commission had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 8, 2016, for cooperation in integrated energy planning (IEP).

In line with the provision of MoU, a Steering Committee on IEP was formulated to take the initiative forward. Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had on February 11 said that the government was adopting new policies to boost investment in the energy sector.

Terming uninterrupted power supply vital for economic growth, Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said that the government was making all efforts to overcome the prevailing energy crises in the country.

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