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Power breakdown: Khurram Dastagir assures of complete restoration by tonight

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  • Committee formed to probe “accidental fault”.
  • Inquiry team to submit report within five days.
  • Says tripping that triggered breakdown started from Karachi.

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/QUETTA/LAHORE: Following a major breakdown that affected large parts of the country Thursday, Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan assured the nation that the electricity transmission system will be “completely restored” between Maghrib and Isha.

“We will restore the system between Maghrib and Isha,” said the minister in a press conference. He added that an inquiry team has been formed headed by GM Technical NTDC to investigate the matter which will submit its report within five days.

The minister told reporters that due to the breakdown a shortfall of 8,000 megwatts emerged, adding that at least 4,700 megawatts have been restored.

“Faisalabad and Multan regions have been restored completely,” he said, adding that Sukkur Electric Supply Company (SEPCO) has been partially restored.

Khan said that it will take a few hours to restore the plants that have tripped and was hopeful that plants providing electricity to Karachi will also be restored.

“Electricity needs to be restored in Quetta and Karachi,” said Khan, adding that the tripping that triggered the breakdown started from the port city and spread to the other parts of the country. 

Earlier today, the Energy Ministry had said that southern parts of the country, mainly Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, were left without power after a fault was detected in the national grid’s southern transmission system.

“Due to an accidental fault in the country’s southern transmission system, multiple southern power plants are tripping which is affecting the transmission of electricity in the southern part of the country,” tweeted the ministry.

The ministry shared that it was working to detect the fault and restore electricity in the southern part country at the earliest.

SHC issues KE CEO’s arrest warrants

Meanwhile, the officials of K-Electric appeared before the Sindh High Court (SHC) after a bench issued arrest warrants for the power utility’s chief executive officer (CEO).

They informed the court that the KE wasn’t responsible for the power outage. “The entire country’s power system is down,” they said.

Earlier, SHC Justice Salahuddin Panhwar issued the arrest warrants for the KE CEO, directing the officials to implement the arrest orders within an hour. 

He expressed annoyance over the suspension of the power supply since 9:30am, as city courts and the accountability courts within Karachi were also left without power following the breakdown.

He asked how the court could hold proceedings with no electricity.

Areas without electricity

In a statement, Karachi-Electric said that restoration efforts were underway across the metropolis and the power utility’s teams were actively monitoring and addressing the situation. 

“Strategic installations including the airport and hospitals have been energised,” the sole electricity provider of the city said.

Restoration of residential areas is progressing gradually, it said, adding that parts of North Nazimabad, Buffer Zone, Baloch Colony, Nursery, KDA Scheme 1, parts of DHA, and other areas have been energised. 

“KE’s network is safe and fully operational enabling quick restoration. KE actively remains in touch with all relevant stakeholders on the matter,” the utility said. 

Other districts of Sindh that were without power were Hyderabad, Thatta, Jamshoro, Sujawal, Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allah Yar; Mirpurkhas, Umarkot, Sanghar, Nawabshah, Matiari, Tharparkar, Larkana.

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Explanation: The increase in inflation in the United States would cause electricity costs in Pakistan to rise.

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Electricity contracts between Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and the federal government not only involve capacity costs, but also have a significant impact on the economy and the financial well-being of the population. These contracts are closely linked to the inflation rate and the value of the US dollar.

Startling disclosures have emerged regarding the exorbitant electricity tariffs in Pakistan. The Council of Economic and Energy Journalists Sage, representing the institute, provided a briefing to leading journalists in Karachi.

According to the information provided, the electricity rate component in Pakistan experienced a 253 percent increase from 2019 to 2024 as a result of inflation in America.

The data presented in the briefing indicates that the capacity charges in Pakistan were Rs3.26 per unit in 2019 and climbed to Rs10.34 per unit in 2024.

The capacity charges imposed on the public incorporate the effects of both US inflation and domestic inflation.

Due to the rise in the country’s interest rate, the interest payment for energy has climbed by 343% during a span of four years. Over the course of four years, the working capital of IPPs caused a 716 percent increase in the cost of power per unit.

The electricity rate has increased by 12 to 20 percent, with 70 percent of the charges being capacity charges.

SDPI experts recommended the government to adopt a centralised tariff policy rather than a universal electricity tariff strategy.

The power generation capacity amounts to 23,000 megawatts.

As a result of the increase in solar power generation in the country, the capacity charges will have an additional adverse impact on the residents.

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Business

Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Court ruling: PTI to overtake all other parties in the National Assembly

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Eight independents and 84 Sunni Alliance members mean that the PTI will likely have 92 legislators in the National Assembly, according to sources.

PTI’s strength in the Lower House is expected to surge to 114 members if it regains the 22 reserved seats it previously lost.

As for the PML-N, they have 108 members in the National Assembly; PPP has 68; MQM has 21; JUI-F has 8; PML-Q has 5; and IPP has 4.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the distribution of reserved seats, the 77 extra seats meant for women and minorities were taken away from the PML-N, PPP, MQM, and JUI.

The electoral commission had on May 13 suspended the 77 Sunni Ittehad Council reserved seats on directives from the Supreme Court. 22 National Assembly seats and 55 provincial assembly seats are among the contested seats.

There are eleven seats from Punjab and eight from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National Assembly that are up for debate among women. The suspended seats also include three seats that are designated for minorities. In the National Assembly, the PPP received five seats, the JUI received three, and the PML-N received fourteen of the 22 heavily contested seats.

There are no longer any allocated seats for minorities or women in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, with 21 seats for women. In addition to the JUI-F, the PML-N was allotted seven seats, the PPP seven, and the ANP one.

The Supreme Court’s decision has suspended the three minority seats and the 24 reserved seats for women in the Punjab Assembly. The PML-N received 23, the PPP received 2, the PML-Q received 1, and the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party received 1 in Punjab.

There are now no longer any designated seats in the Sindh Assembly for women and minorities. MQM was allotted one reserved seat out of these, and the PPP two.

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