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ISLAMABAD: Faced with criticism from public as well as political circles over unannounced electricity outages across the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday expressed his “annoyance” over the state of affairs and instructed the authorities concerned to bring about “conspicuous reduction” in load-shedding by next month.

In a statement, the new PM blamed the federal government led by former prime minister Imran Khan for the power crisis that has worsened due to rising temperatures. “Imran Khan’s government had closed the power units which were set up… to generate low-cost electricity. Instead, the previous government had utilised those low-power generation units which supplied expensive power and due to this injustice, the nation had to pay the heavy price in the shape of Rs 100 billion every month,” Mr Sharif said in the statement.

“An LNG-carrying ship which cost Rs 6 billion (is) now priced at Rs 20 billion and the nation had to pay more than Rs 500 billion this year due to such injustice done by Imran Khan’s government,” his statement said.

The premier claimed he would not “sit idle, nor let anyone rest, till the resolution of the issue”.

PM says closure of many power plants led to load-shedding

He said that all possible efforts should be made to save the citizens from the discomfort caused by the criminal negligence of the former government and directed the authorities concerned to make temporary arrangements till the full provision of oil and gas. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had generated surplus power, but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government failed to add a single new unit to the grid during its tenure, he added.

With “destruction of the energy sector”, he said, a conspiracy had been hatched to deliver a fatal blow to the country’s economy.

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