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According to a federal minister, Pakistan’s coal reserves can provide 100,000 Megawatts of electricity.

Minister of Power Khurram Dastgir Khan on Tuesday stated that the government remains committed to tackling the energy concerns of the country, adding that renewable energy like hydel and solar is the way forward. Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad, the minister claimed that hydropower is the “mainstay” of the nation’s energy supply and that, despite its problems, it will always be the most practical form of energy, along with coal.

“Interestingly, solar is the new miracle cure, according to reports that solar prices are declining. Thus, the way forward is hydel plus solar, and whatever wind production we can come up with,” added Dastgir.

The federal minister further claimed the subsidy announced by the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in electricity costs is unaffordable. “We are working to find a solution to this terrible dilemma,” the speaker said.

According to the minister, half of the nation’s electricity distribution businesses are still incapable of being governed. “The losses are too great and have emptied the public coffers, and it’s once again a terrible situation that we’re grasping,” he said.

The minister stated that due to a “tremendous” increase in the energy process since the start of this year, the Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan (IGCEP) is currently being amended once more for cabinet approval.

The enormous increase in coal costs in recent weeks has made coal no longer be the cheapest source of energy generation, according to Dastgir, who also noted that the situation with RLNG and furnace oil is similar.

The electricity minister raised concerns about K-Electric and questioned the privatisation of the utility. Is changing a publicly held monopoly to a privately owned monopoly fundamentally wrong? I believe that KE is not providing its customers with the services they require.

If we don’t address this, we won’t be able to address the external sector, which will force us back to the IMF (IMF). It is necessary for us to fix our sector and lessen our reliance on foreign gasoline in order to generate growth and offer employment to our people, he said.

According to the most recent data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan imported petroleum products worth $17.033 billion, an increase of 95.84% during the first ten months of the current fiscal year (2021–22), as opposed to imports of $8.697 billion last year (PBS).

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