Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail has claimed that if the temperature in Punjab’s plains increases by 1 degree Celsius, the demand for the electricity in the country jumps by 800MW. Addressing the industrialists at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Miftah said this year the country did not witness any spring. “We went straight from winters to summers,” he said. “Khurram Dastgir, Minister for Water and Power, told me that our electricity demand hit 31,000MW,” he said, adding that if Pakistan even produces 25,000MW, it still faces four to five hours of loadshedding. “If we do any further loadshedding, people rightly protest, so we had to run all our power plants,” he said. The minister claimed that per unit cost of electricity from Jamshoro power plant comes around at Rs59. “If you add line losses and theft, the average cost comes around Rs78,” he added. “We had a circular debt of around Rs800b last year, so the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked us to bring the power tariff to actual cost and abolish fuel subsidy,” he said. “We were selling diesel at prices lower than that of Saudi Arabia and UAE,” the minister said. The minister said petrol pump owners knew that the government can’t continue giving subsidy on petroleum products, so they stocked diesel bought at lower prices. “Today, we are importing 200million litres less than what we were importing then,” he stated. Pakistan’s textile exports are worth $20 billion, he said, adding that a country that has a total export of $30 billion should not be importing goods worth $80 billion. Miftah, however, said that Pakistan’s imports are not that high. “The real problem is that our exports are really low,” he added. He said that the country is moving towards improvement, adding that the incumbent government has doubled the power generating capacity. “Previously, there was a capacity to generate 12,000 megawatts of electricity, and the circular rate of electricity is Rs2,500 billion. The circular rate of gas is Rs1,500 billion. The Government of Pakistan was generating electricity at Rs59 per unit in June,” he said.