Sindh allocates Rs 25 billion to utilize solar energy to electrify off-grid villages as per Bilawal campaign promise


Karachi The Sindh government, in its newly presented budget for the upcoming financial year 2024-25, has allocated a total of Rs 25 billion to fulfil one of the important election campaign promises of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The promise is to provide free electricity to underprivileged power consumers in the country after coming into power. Sindh’s top authorities have stated on several occasions that the province’s massive solar energy potential will be maximally utilized to generate clean electricity and provide it free of charge to deserving power consumers, as per the campaign promise of the PPP Chairman.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also heads the provincial Finance Department, announced the allocation of Rs 25 billion for implementing the mass-scale solar energy initiative while presenting the budget of his government for the new financial year in the Sindh Assembly.
The CM informed the lawmakers that Rs 25 billion would be spent over the next five years to provide free rooftop solar systems to 2.6 million off-grid households. In the first phase, during the new financial year 2024-25, solar home systems will be provided to 500,000 households. These systems will include 100-watt solar panels, three LED lights, one fan, and six hours of battery storage.
This initiative will be implemented in addition to the World Bank-funded Sindh Solar Energy Project. The US $105 million World Bank-assisted project aims to provide solar home systems to 200,000 households in areas of the province with low or no electricity. According to a senior project official, the procurement of solar home systems under the World Bank-funded clean energy promotion initiative has commenced, and the first batch of 50,000 systems will arrive in Karachi by mid-October this year.
Sindh Energy and Planning & Development Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, stated that providing free and affordable electricity to the people of Sindh was a key aspect of the new provincial budget. He instructed the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Sukkur Electric Power Company, and K-Electric, the three DISCOs in the province, not to disconnect low-income electricity consumers for not paying their bills. These DISCOs were also directed to forgive the outstanding electricity dues of these disadvantaged consumers.
Sindh Senior Information Minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon, informed reporters that the proposed solar power project outlined in the new provincial budget would help in bringing electricity to several off-grid villages in the province.

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