Land acquisition for Diamer Bhasha dam about to complete: Senate informed

Senate recommends 10% increase in Govt employee salaries

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Friday that the process of land acquisition for Diamer Bhasha dam is nearing completion and work on the mega project will be started next year.
Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House during the question hour that a master plan has been prepared to promote hydel projects to eliminate energy crises in the country. He said the construction of mega reservoirs has become imperative in order to avert wastage of water.
He said under the 18th amendment, the provinces are also authorized to carry out small hydel projects. He said that government is also facilitating private investors for promoting hydel power projects on build-on-operate-transfer basis. At present private power and infrastructure board is facilitating sixteen hydel power projects having cumulative power generation of capacity about 6350 megawatts for development in private sector. Out of these, three projects of 2690 megawatts are being processed under the frame of China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor.
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal told the House that the domestic oil production is meeting 20 to 25 percent requirements of the country while the remaining volume is being imported from different countries. He said that the government is also focusing on switching over to high grade fuels in order to enhance efficiency in vehicles which will also help to protecting the environment. He said that Pakistan Arab Refinery Limited and Attock Refinery are producing Euro-II compliant diesel oil while other refineries are also given a deadline of June next year to produce this high quality fuel.
Responding to a call attention notice, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that no power station is closed today due to non-payments, which in the past forced people to face prolonged power outages. He said that payments to Pakistan State Oil are also being made on regular basis. He said the government is facing problem in recoveries from the provinces which owe 331 billion rupees. He said similarly, recoveries of 350 to 400 billion rupees are due on domestic consumers. He said some improvement has been made in recoveries but still a lot more needs to be done to get the dues from provinces.
The Minister of State that the government is introducing smart metering system in order to avoid over billing. He said that over the last three and half years, line losses have also witnessed a decline.
The House will now meet at 3 p.m on Monday.


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