ISLAMABAD: A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), headed by it’s Middle East and Central Asia Director Jihad Azour and mission chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, met Power Division Minister Omar Ayub Khan on Friday.
The minister informed the delegation about the “historic achievements” of the Power Division in terms of “record recoveries and reduction in line losses”.
“Owing to the concerted efforts of the Power Division officials, led by secretary Irfan Ali, the circular debt has reduced considerably. The debt which was increasing with an average volume of Rs38 billion per month was brought down to Rs26 billion per month by the end of FY19.”
He said the July results were even more encouraging as the debt was further arrested to Rs18 billion per month.
“A comprehensive campaign by the Power Division against power theft and defaulters is yielding these results,” the minister maintained.
He informed the delegation about the measures undertaken by the division to ensure improvements in the power distribution system. “Ariel Bundled Cables (ABC) are being installed by the DISCOs in areas where incidents of power theft from transmission lines are rampant. In areas where the problem is more sophisticated, like major urban settlements, AMI metres (smart metres) are being installed.”
He said that 80pc of the total feeders in the country were now free from load management. “We are now investing in the distribution system both to improve its technical viability and also to increase its human resources so that these entities could perform efficiently.”
The minister also shed light on the new Renewable Energy Policy whereby the government was committed to increasing the share of indigenous resources, cutting down the prices of the electricity for the consumers and reducing the dependency on imported fuels.
Jihad Azour on the occasion appreciated the Power Division’s efforts in meeting its targets and formulating the new renewable energy policy.
He said that the power sector was an integral part of the IMF programme, adding that the sector’s performance was encouraging. He also appreciated the country’s shift towards utilisation of indigenous resources as it would help reduce the prices of electricity.