ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar stated on Monday that the governing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has always bought liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a lower cost than its predecessors, but the issue is that it must address the mistakes of previous governments.
He added at a news conference that people are paying more for power because of costly energy projects established by the previous administration of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“We are trying to correct the mistakes made during the past,” he said while responding to allegations levelled by PML-N leaders that the power tariff is likely to witness a hike of Rs4.33 on account of fuel charges adjustment, and delay in importing LNG when it was cheaper.
The National Electrical Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has received a request for the increase from the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).
Responding to a question about soaring circular debt, he said that it is solely because of previous government of the PML-N, which “created all the mess” and “we have to bear the brunt now due to their blunders”.
The PTI government has imported LNG at lower rates compared to the rates at which the gas was imported during the PML-N regime, he said, adding LNG was imported at the cheapest rates during the PTI’s tenure compared to that of the PML-N.
About the allegations regarding expensive electricity, he said that capacity payments are increasing every year as the more power plants are installed the more rent the government has to pay.
“Wish if someone could have explained to the PML-N leaders when they were setting up more power plants without knowing that the rent is to be paid at all costs whether you use them or not,” he regretted.
Urging the opposition not to delude the masses, he said that the PTI will time and again remind the PML-N of its mistakes, adding the party will not be allowed to put all the blame of its past blunders on the PTI.
He said that through press conferences, the PML-N leaders are trying to mislead the masses, which is not going to work as people are well aware who is responsible for the energy crisis in the country.
He questioned if the PML-N ministers were so good at managing electricity, how the power sector circular debt jumped to Rs1,200 billion from zero.