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No load-shedding being carried out on 80% feeders, NA told

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Tuesday that no load-shedding is being carried out on eighty percent feeders across the country.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Fazal Muhammad Khan, Minister for Power Omer Ayub said that out of 8610 total feeders, no load management is being carried out on 6610 feeders. He clarified that load management is only being carried out in the areas where line losses are high.

Omer Ayub said the present government has initiated a drive to improve recoveries and check power theft. As a result of this drive, line losses have been reduced by 2.4 percent across the country whilst recoveries witnessed an increase of 1.3 percent over the last four months. He said over twenty seven thousand FIRs have been registered against the people involved in power pilferage. Of these, about 4400 people have also been sent behind bars. He said we have also taken action against the staff of WAPDA and terminated over 450 officials for being hand in glove with the power pilferage.

The Minister said no compromise will be made to eliminate ‘Kunda’ culture. He said efforts are also afoot to improve the power transmission system with 2.5 billion rupees have been released for installation of Aerial Bundle Cable (ABC) to check the power pilferage.

Responding to another calling attention notice regarding recent increase in the prices of petroleum products, Omer Ayub said that our mission is to provide relief to the masses. This is the reason that we did not fully pass on the increase recommended by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). He said unlike the previous government, we have reduced taxes on petroleum products in order to shield the consumers from the increase in oil prices in the international markets.

Regretting the apathy of previous governments towards oil and gas exploration, Omer Ayub, who also holds the additional charge of Petroleum Ministry, said the present government is firm to take forward the onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling. He said international companies are evincing great interest in the exploration sector and they will be fully facilitated to bolster local production. He said we also aim to double the capacity of our refineries.

The Federal Minister said that oil prices were at historic low of twenty two dollars per barrel in the previous regime but the relief was not passed on to the consumers. He said previous government was charging sales tax at the rate of twenty nine to thirty percent whilst we have brought it down to seventeen percent.

Responding to the points of Khurram Dastgir regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Iran, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said both Pakistan and Iran will have to take steps against the proscribed outfits to eliminate the menace of terrorism. She said it is the first time that during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visits to Iran, both the countries agreed to take joint steps against terrorism.

The opposition parties created rumpus in the house today and tore apart the copies of the agenda of the day.

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the opposition parties are making hue and cry against the accountability process. He said the looted amount will be recovered. He said under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country’s image has improved significantly and it has come out of isolation. He said the top PPP leadership has no understanding of the country’s problems.

The Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 was laid before the house today for the creation of South Punjab and Bahawalpur provinces.

It was moved by PML (N) leader Rana Sanaullah Khan.

The chair referred the bill to the standing committee concerned for further deliberations.

Several bills were laid before the House today. These are: The Family Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, The Chamber of Agriculture Bill, The Prohibition of Forced Religious Conversion Bill, The Eradication of Riba Bill and The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill and the Constitution Amendment Bill (Article 51, 106).

The house will now meet tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at eleven.

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