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Aziz admits energy policy was flawed

April 06, 2008

NEW YORK, April 5: Former prime minister Shaukat Aziz said that energy consumption in Pakistan had increased rapidly and his government could not foresee the huge demand to be created by the growing economy.

In an interview with Dawn during a visit to New York, he attributed the shortage of electricity in the country to “unprecedented huge energy demands”.

“The demand for fuel is growing rapidly which is reflected in the consumption of electricity, where contrary to estimates of seven to eight per cent the demand grew by as much as 15 per cent,” he said.

“The growth estimates we made were lower than the actual ones, creating a supply demand mismatch coupled with distribution problems and delayed implementation of electricity projects.”

He said his government had approved power projects of over 2,000MW which were under way.

“Fast track projects” of around 400MW had been installed and commissioned to meet unexpected growth and demand.

Commenting on the huge increase in the prices of flour in December, the former premier said the shortages were due to administrative inadequacies and smuggling of wheat to neighbouring countries.

“We are fortunate that wheat prices in Pakistan are lower than the world. However, there is no denying that there is a global pressure on food prices which will push up inflation and make it challenging for the low-income people who have limited income.”