The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is concerned about Pakistan’s plan for dealing with its circular debt in the next fiscal year.
Minister of Power Khurram Dastgir said that while issues concerning circular debt in the current fiscal year have already been resolved, the lender is concerned about the plan for the fiscal year 2023-24.
Negating the lender’s reservations on the subject, Dastgir stated that the Shanghai Thar Coal Power Project has begun generating 1,320 Megawatts of electricity using local fuel, which will not only control load-shedding but will also help to lower electricity prices. He explained that the government has worked tirelessly to produce electricity using local fuel and succeeded in adding 1,980 Megawatts of electricity from Thar Coal to the system over the last ten months. Thar Coal has 175 billion tons of reserves, enough to generate 100,000 Megawatts of electricity.
Dastgir added that the government is tirelessly working on power projects and another project of Thal Nova Thar Coal Power Project with a capacity to generate 330 Megawatt electricity has also been energized.
The minister noted that the Iran-Gwadar Transmission Line project is complete and will be inaugurated soon. He stated that the government has launched a project to generate 6,000 Megawatts of electricity using solar energy while a request for establishing a 600 Megawatts project in Muzaffargarh has been floated.
Dastgir further clarified that there would be no increase in the basic tariff of electricity consumers.
The Power Minister’s comments come after it was informed earlier that the government was struggling to secure a billion-dollar bailout from the IMF. The lender seeks action on 4 crucial conditions for reaching a staff-level agreement by next week. One of these conditions is the continuation of surcharge on electricity consumers.
Pertinently, lawmakers negotiating on behalf of Pakistan have called these prior actions as ‘unjustified’.