The pressure on the Ministry of Water and Power decreased after substantial reduction in electricity shortfall, which declined to 2,508 megawatts from 6,000MW because of current spell of rains and lower demand. On Saturday, computed peak demand was reported at 16,013MW against peak generation of 13,505MW. Rural areas, which were facing minimum power outages of 10 hours in the past, have also benefited as cuts in electricity supply are now marginal.
According to Secretary Water and Power, Zafar Mahmood, electricity generation has increased from 11, 518MW (in June 2012) to 13,943MW in (August 2012) against the average demand of 17,486MW in June to 17,624 MW in August. In his presentation to the federal cabinet on September 5, 2012, the average shortfall therefore decreased from 5,953MW in June to 3,680MW in August. Gas supply generation rose from 86 mmcfd in June to 104 mmcfd in August against the target demand of 207 mmcfd.
Similarly, furnace oil supply has been increased from 14,450 tons per day in June to 15,250 tons till September against the requirement of 28,000 tons per day. The sources said, in terms of financial outlay the Cabinet was informed that the power sector business plan is being prepared in consultation with the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum, based on three probable sceneries of projected shortfall for September 2012 (2,000MW, 3,000MW and 4,000MW). The plan focuses on collection of additional 10 per cent recovery compared to last year, tariff increase as decided by the government, constant gas supply and technical losses as per last year.
The federal cabinet recently asked Water and Power Ministry to identify the amount of recoveries and steps taken to effect recoveries of Rs350 billion stuck up bills. According to sources, Secretaries of the Committee were directed to work out how much is required to overcome the crisis. The sources said Secretary of Petroleum Dr Waqar Masood and Secretary Water and Power Zafar Mahmood have been barred from foreign visits for the time being because of energy crisis. Secretaries of the Committee have been directed to honour commitments made by them to the Cabinet in letter and spirit.