ISLAMABAD: While the Ministry for Water and Power is debating whether or not to seek permission from the federal cabinet for electricity trade with the Indian private sector; sources disclose that this proposal may not win the support of all members as many believe that Pakistan and India should initiate electricity trade under a government-to-government arrangement, a senior official told The News Tuesday.
However, the top ministry officials including Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar and Secretary Imtiaz Kazi are both in favour of importing electricity from India’s private brokers. “Under the proposed summary which is not yet finalised, private brokers in India are to arrange sale of electricity to Pakistan,” disclosed an official.
“We don’t know why theses two personalities are adamant in importing electricity from India’s private electricity traders who deal with 10 percent of [total] electricity,” another senior official told The News on the condition of anonymity. žOnce we need to restore the credibility factor with India after doing trade of electricity under government-to-government arrangement, then in the next phase authorities in Pakistan should go for import of electricity from the Indian private sector.”
In response to a question the official said that in the first phase, Pakistan would import 500MW of electricity at a cost not more than Rs7-8 per unit keeping in view the tariff at which Pakistan is importing electricity from Iran as a benchmark. For the import or export of electricity, both sides need to develop 500 or 220kv transmission lines stretching almost 70 kilometres.
Pakistan and India will each construct 45 kilometre 220kv transmission lines on their respective sides within six months after a formal agreement in this respect. The agreement will be for five years, which will be negotiable for extension for another five years or more, sources confirm.
The World Bank [WB] has already agreed to fund the whole infrastructure to be laid down for the import and export of electricity between India and Pakistan, and the bank will extend about $300-400 million to install the transmission lines within six months between both the nuclear armed rivals once an agreement is reached.
“The loan amount will be equal to the cost of the whole project which is still needed to be worked out. The bank will extend soft loan to both Pakistan and India to complete the project,” said the official. “We have identified the two places Ů one is Dina Nath near Bhai Phero, and Ghaziabad from where the transmission system will be started and go deep in Indian Punjab at Bathinda from where the electricity will be imported.”
However, the deal will not be unilateral — rather it will be bilateral. “We have asked [the] Indian side in case Pakistan manages to generate more energy, then it will export surplus electricity to India which is why infrastructure will be laid down that will cater to the needs of the import and export of electricity,” the official said.
Govt mulls power import from Indian private sector - thenews.com.pk