ISLAMABAD ( Staff Report) – Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Wednesday expressed grief over the deaths in Karachi due to intense heatwave and said the federal government is not responsible for the power shortfall in Sindh.

The minister was addressing the National Assembly session resumed in Islamabad today (Wednesday) with Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair.

He minister also said that Karachi Electric (KE) was responsible for providing electricity to Sindh and not the federal government.

Khawaja Asif has said that the government has started several power projects to cope with the energy crisis.

The House today adopted a motion to discuss the situation arising out of energy and electricity crisis in the country.

The motion was moved by Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

Speaking in the National Assembly today, he said that 14,000 to 15,000 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid by 2018. 1,020 MW will be added to the system in 2015-16, 4,692 MW in 2016-17 and 5,142 MW in 2018. He said additional 3,600 MW will be generated through LNG.

He said contract for import of LNG with Qatar has not yet been signed but it will be below 14 percent of the Brent. He assured that Pakistan will import the LNG at the lowest rate in Asia which will help save the country billions of rupees.

The Minister said massive investment is also being made to improve the transmission system in order to provide uninterrupted electricity to the consumers. He said three grid stations of 500 KV and 11 grid stations of 220 KV are being set up in the country.

Giving a brief overview of the performance of Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) across the country, the minister said the total national power generation as of Wednesday morning stood at 13,144MW, while the total demand of power clocked in at 16,645MW.

The minister said that from July 2014 to April 2015, Gujranwala Electric Power Company’s (Gepco) billing stood at 98.4 per cent, while losses were 9.8pc, adding that it was 7pc less as compared to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (Nepra) overall losses.

Asif said Multan Electric Power Company’s (Mepco) billing was 100pc during the period under review, adding that Faisalabad Electric Supply Company’s (Fesco) billing also stood at 100pc.

He further said Lahore Electric Supply Company’s (Lesco) billing is 98.2pc whereas Islamabad Electric Supply Company’s (Iesco) is 89.2pc.

The minister said the losses in Islamabad were due to Afghan refugees who had established several slums and were also involved in incidents of power theft. He said that two Iesco employees had spotted power theft sometime ago, and had initiated action against the accused persons but were shot dead.