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Policy of previous govt resulted in electricity price hike: Omar Ayub

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ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub has said that the cost of electricity in the country will decrease with the implementation of alternative energy policy.Addressing a press conference with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Omar Ayub asserted that the hike in power prices was witnessed due to the policy of previous government, and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government sold electricity for Rs17 per unit while 3500MW of alternative energy projects were abolished.

“The country has $40 billion worth of investment opportunities in the alternative energy sector”, expressed Omar Ayub.

Nadeem Babar expressed that no capacity payments would be made in alternative energy-driven projects while Energy Minister said that they will take alternative energy policies to the Council of Common Interests. “Will also give good news in the Karkey case”, he added.

Earlier, the federal government  approved Renewable Energy Policy, 2019, with an aim to produce cheap and clean energy by utilising indigenous resources.

In this regard, Minister for Power Omer Ayub and Special Assistant to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar held a news conference in Islamabad.

Mr Ayub appeared confident that power generation from renewable sources would reduce power tariff in the future. He regretted that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had installed expensive power through the LNG plants.

Giving targets set in the policy, Mr Ayub asserted that 8,000 megawatts of power would be generated from renewable sources, including solar and wind by the year 2025, and 20,000 megawatts by 2030.

“This does not include hydel generation, and if it is included the share of clean and green energy will be 60 to 65 per cent,” he said, adding that under this policy, solar panels and wind turbines would be manufactured domestically. “This will give a major boost to the industrial base in the country.”

“The country’s renewable sources have potential of USD 40 billion and some companies have already started investing in that sector,” he revealed.

Danish, Japanese and Chinese companies have expressed keen interest in investing in manufacturing of solar panels and wind turbines.

Babar, in his remarks, appreciated the policy as “progressive” that has been prepared after consultations with all stakeholders, including the provinces. He said, under this policy, contracts would be awarded through transparent open bidding.

Ayub said the revenue of power sector has increased to the historic Rs229 billion as compared to the previous year under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said this has been achieved by ensuring efficiency and taking action against the pilferage.

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