10,600MW electricity will be added to national grid

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday said the government would be able to overcome the energy crisis by adding 10,600 Megawatts (MW) more electricity to the national grid by early 2018.

“Currently we are facing a shortfall of about 5,000MW of electricity whereas energy projects of 24,000MW are under process and some of them will start generating 10,000MW by the end of year 2017 or early 2018,” he said while addressing a ceremony organised by Old Hailians Association.

The remaining projects of 14,000MW, he said, would start adding electricity to the system by 2020, which would help boost economic activity and industrialisation in the country.

The minister said two mega hydropower projects, Dasu and Diamir-Bhasha dams, were also in progress, which would not only help overcome the energy crisis but also store water for irrigation purposes. “The Diamir-Bhasha dam will have the capacity of 1.3 trillion cubic feet water,” he added.

Ishaq Dar said the government was also working on civil nuclear energy projects, which would add 1,000MW more electricity to the system in next seven years.

He said before the year 2013, the country was on the verge of becoming a defaulter, as the foreign exchange reserves had gone down to below $8 billion and no international monetary institution was ready to lend money to it. However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after coming to power, worked really hard to bring the country out of the financial crisis, he added.

Dar said, “Within a short period of two years, the country has made immense progress as the energy crisis has considerably eased, forex reserves have touched $20 billion mark, a record in the country’s history, fiscal deficit has come down from 8.8% to 5%, inflation rate has reduced from above 10% to record 1.3%.”

Moreover, the minister said, the tax to GDP ratio had also increased from 9% to 11% and revenue growth rate also surged from 3% to 15%. Now the world-renowned fiscal institutions were praising Pakistan for its amazing economic development and had rated its economy as stable, he added.

Dar said if Pakistan continued its journey on the road to progress, which it had witnessed during previous two years, it would become the world’s 18th major economy in 17 years.

He said PML-N was strictly implementing its manifesto announced during the 2013 general election, in which it had vowed to steer the country out of four crises.

“The country was facing challenges of 4 Es (Economy, Energy, Education and Extremism) at the time the PML-N government came into power, which have now been overcome due to its prudent policies,” he added.

The minister said Pakistan had immense natural and human resources, which if utilised wisely and properly, could make it one of the world’s developed countries.

He also highlighted the progress of ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb, saying that the armed forces were successfully moving ahead and had completed over 80% work. He said in Karachi and Balochistan too, peace had returned due to the ongoing operation against the terrorism in the country.

The opponents of the PML-N were finding it hard to digest the development in the country and they were out to sabotage its government’s efforts in this regard, he added.

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