ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Water and Power has assured in the Senate that steps are being taken on an emergency basis for installation of new transformers to supply electricity to rural areas and construction of two new dams to overcome water and electricity shortfall and cultivation of arid land in Balochistan. Replying to various questions in the Senate on Thursday, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said that as per statistics, electricity has been supplied to 80.73 percent areas in Balochistan, 76.20 percent areas in KP, 91.28 percent areas in Sindh and 94.82 percent areas in Punjab. If the electricity has not been supplied to some areas, then WAPDA is not at fault and it is the negligence of the elected representatives of the respective areas from where they obtain votes. No proposal has come from them for supplying electricity to these areas, he added. He told the Senate that power distribution companies were independent in taking their decisions. The ministry does not interfere much in their affairs. According to statistics, GESCO supplied electricity to 240 villages, LESCO to 82 villages, PEPCO to 4052 villages, FESCO to 1341 villages, IESCO to 130 villages, GESCO to 2887 villages, PEPCO to 1028 villages and TESCO to 59 villages during the current government. The ministry told the house that circular debt stood at 1334.8 billion on July 31 2016 and payment will be made to 3 power companies. 96 billion rupees will be provided to oil and gas companies, 176.1 billion rupees to IPPs, solar, wind and thermal and Rs 62.7 billion rupees to GENCOS and Wapda Hydal power. The incumbent government is striving to pay outstanding dues to the power companies. The ministry told the house that 300MW electricity was added to the national grid during 2016 and a further 390 megawatts electricity have been added in national grid for restoration of 3 affected units of TPS. The Senate has unanimously proposed to government that offices and staff facility be provided to members of assemblies and senators. During question hour, Gen (Retd) Salah ud Din Tirmizi asked if the government was proposing to set up offices for members of assemblies and senators. Ministry for parliamentary affairs replied no such proposal was under consideration.