US to extend every possible assistance to Pakistan in energy sector: Kerry

Islamabad: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said his country will extend every possible assistance to Pakistan to help it cope with the energy crisis. He made these remarks during his visit to Islamabad Electric Supply Company’s Grid station in Islamabad where he was briefed about USAID funded Local Data Improvement project.

John Kerry said we are eager to launch more projects in the power sector‚ which not only will open new job opportunities but also strengthen the country’s economy.

He said under Kerry Lugar bill‚ Washington has already delivered 3.50 billion dollars to Pakistan to help it in projects especially relating to the power sector.

John Kerry said his country is also providing technical assistance to improve Pakistan’s electricity distribution system.

He said installation of smart meters at the electricity distribution companies under USAID funded project will help Pakistan reduce line losses and ensure efficient supply of electricity to the consumers.

USAID funded projects have already added over 1200 megawatt of electricity to the national grid of Pakistan. He said there is still much more needs to be done to overcome the energy crisis.

Speaking on the occasion‚ Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said the energy crisis has crippled Pakistan’s economy during the last ten years which has rendered many people jobless and closed many industries. He said the country is facing loss of one thousand billion rupees per annum due to the energy crisis.

He said the electricity generation has increased during the last few days due to the steps taken by the present government.

He said the generation has reached the record level of more than 16000 megawatt due to payment of about five hundred billion rupees in circular debt.

Acknowledging the assistance of the US in the energy sector‚ Khawaja Asif said the provision of smart meters by the USAID has helped in improving the transmission system and controlling unscheduled power outages.