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Caretaker govt can’t hold bailout talks with IMF, says minister

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar says the interim government jacked up prices of petroleum products owing to the rise in global oil prices.

Speaking at a joint press conference alongside Minister for Energy Syed Ali Zafar, she said only 50 per cent impact of the increase in global oil prices has been passed on to consumers.

Oil prices in Pakistan are still lower as compared to the neighboring countries such as India, she added.

The minister said the country will not reach any agreement or hold negotiations with IMF for a bailout programme.

She, however, said the caretaker setup will tackle the macroeconomic challenges being faced by the country.

Spelling out the reasons behind the recent extended hours of load-shedding, Barrister Zafar said power cuts were caused by the electricity shortfall resulting from growing demand of power owing to hot weather.

He said there was an extreme shortage of water in dams and Port Qasim and Balloki power plants also developed technical faults, which caused over 5000 MW reduction in power in the national grid.

He said water level in dams has increased after rains and the technical faults in the plants have been removed, and now the situation has considerably improved.

The minister said at present 21,000 to 22000 megawatts of electricity is being produced against the demand of 23,000 to 24,000 MW, facing a shortfall of 2000 MW.

He said the country has a total installed capacity of 28,000 megawatt. Expressing the caretaker government’s commitment for transparent elections, he assured that they will fully support to the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free, fair and peaceful elections.

He categorically stated that the caretaker government will make no compromise on security of the country and take all necessary decisions in best national interest.

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