KARACHI: The federal government will provide around 1000MW electricity to Karachi by the end of this month to overcome the load-shedding during the hot weather in Karachi and boost industry.
Addressing a press conference at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI), Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said, “K-Electric project of 450MW would be completed by May 2021 while the WAPDA would provide 600-650MW electric through the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) by the end of this month.”
In the last two years, the minister said that the federal government has given around 2,000MW electricity to Karachi to overcome the load-shedding in the megacity. “We were unable to enhance electricity transmission but now we have enhanced it to 5,000MW this year,” said Umar.
He said the industrial sector of the country is now utilizing 15 per cent above electricity target as the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) units, like cement and automotive industries, are working in full capacity in Karachi.
He further claimed that because of the congestion at Karachi Port, the federal government is laying a parallel Railway Line from Karachi Port to Pepri station, for which tender would be announced soon.
After this Railway Line, the congestion of the Port would be transferred to Pepri area he said, adding this project would also reduce the heavy traffic from Karachi.
Regarding the import of sugar and cotton from India, Umar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to support the industries but not at the expense of Kashmir.
Inflation is the biggest challenge of the country, Mr Umar said, that commodities prices have gone up in the international market. While our government did not devalue our currency, it was the policies of the former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
During PTI government, the rupee had devalued by Rs 16 without spending a dollar, but the previous government kept the dollar exchange rate at Rs 105 after spending billions of dollars, he said.
“Now the dollar is free to float and Pakistan exports are enhancing 12-13 per cent this year, while imports had gone down,” Umar claimed. “Our policies are now working to devalue the Pak-rupee versus the US dollar,” he claimed.
Regarding COVID-19 restriction, Asad Umar categorically said that we cannot allow the restaurants indoor dinning in Karachi or any other part of the country as the 3rd wave of COVID-19 is very dangerous for the country.
He further claimed that we cannot stop the industries especially the value-added industries in Pakistan. These industries are earning dollars which is necessary for the country. Regarding the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), Umar said that four foreign companies are ready to bid for it and the PSM can be a valuable addition to the country in the future.