CPEC pushing Pakistan into an era of uninterrupted power supply: Planning Minister

Islamabad: Pakistani Caretaker Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Muhammad Sami Saeed has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was pushing Pakistan into an era of uninterrupted power supply.

The minister chaired a meeting to review the progress of the power sector of the ministry. The Chief Energy section gave a detailed briefing on current statistics, prevalent policies and new initiatives of the power sector.

The power section of the Planning Ministry is assigned the tasks of technical appraisal of Power Sector’s development projects to be considered by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

The Power Section is also involved in planning and policy formulation process and furnishes comments on CCI, Cabinet, ECC summaries and other reports/Intergovernmental Agreements.

During the briefing, the Planning Minister was also briefed about the prevalent policies in the Power Sector.

In this regard, National Electricity Policy, 2021 was approved in June, 2021 by Council of Common Interests (CCI) which laid down six principles for growth of Power Sector including Efficiency, Transparency, Competition, Financial Viability, Indigenization and Environmental Responsibility.

For the purpose of meeting policy goals, principles and underlying directives in the respective areas as provided in the National Electricity Policy, an objective-oriented National Electricity (NE) Plan has recently been approved by CCoE in Aug, 2023.

The NE Plan envisaged 20 priority areas of intervention including Integrated Energy Planning, System & Market Operations, Electrification, Tariff Design and Subsidy Rationalization. Among the new initiatives being undertaken in the Power Sector, Competitive Trading Bilateral Contract Market (CTBCM), Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) and Transmission System Expansion Plan (TSEP) are the notable ones which will shift the electricity market from single-buyer market to bilateral competitive market which will bring healthy competition in the power market and introduce the concept of integrated planning.

Furthermore, the Energy Wing also proposed further steps which include integrated energy planning of generation, transmission and distribution sectors, investment in transmission and distribution sector, legislation for acquisition of land and Right of Way (RoW), technological interventions to curb theft and increase recoveries of Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and management outsourcing of DISCOs.

The Minister emphasized that the issues of circular debt, improvement in the recoveries of outstanding dues of DISCOs may be addressed on war-footing basis by Power Sector entities so that the sector may be work on sustainable basis for provision of reliable, affordable and clean energy to the masses.

He also appreciated the Power Section, for their excellent work carried out for nudging the power sector of the country in the right direction through their efforts in planning, policy making and appraisal of development projects.

The minister maintained that CPEC had almost resolved the power issue in the country.

He said all the CPEC projects were being completed with expedited pace.