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Miftah Ismail hits out at govt over looming energy crisis

PML-N’s senior leader and former finance minister Miftah Ismail lashed out on Sunday at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government for the looming energy crisis in the country.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, he held PTI’s government responsible for delays in the dry docking of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

He also questioned the government’s strategy of opting for expensive fuels, such as furnace oil and diesel, for power production.

On Saturday, Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar acknowledged that the country could face a power shortage from June 29 to July 6 because the Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) terminal would be non-functional during that period.

In his address, the minister blamed the operators of both the LNG terminals in Pakistan for the looming crisis, saying that they should have given the timeline for dry docking at least one year in advance.

Ismail, however, in his address, alleged that Azhar had wrongfully blamed the terminal operators.

“Engro had asked them [the government] to initiate the dry docking a year ago, but they have been delaying it,” he said.

“And they are now blaming Engro and SSGC (Sui Southern Gas Company). This is a lie.”

Ismael further said that the government had been delaying the issue, and now has to carry out the maintenance of many gas fields all at once.

He also blamed the government for “keeping on delaying the purchase of furnace oil” and then buying it in haste at an excessive price.

Pointing out that the purchase of expensive fuels is in violation of the Nepra’s merit order, he said that “there is no reason for using furnace oil for electricity production but that this government is inefficient and dishonest”.

“Power plants set up by the PML-N government were producing the cheapest electricity in the country,” he added.

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