PM orders to cut the reliance on imported fuel for cheap power
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the authorities concerned to take steps to reduce power load-shedding during winters in order to provide maximum relief to electricity consumers.
He directed to cut reliance on imported fuel for power generation and utilize local resources instead to produce cheaper electricity.
Chairing a meeting to discuss various proposals to overcome load-shedding in winters, the prime minister ordered taking every possible measure to ensure supply of electricity.
The briefing by the Ministry of Energy focused on demand and supply of electricity as well as estimates of fuel required for power generation.
The meeting was attended by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Energy Minister Engineer Khurram Dastagir, PM’s Adviser Ahad Cheema, State Minister for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik, Special Assistants Dr Jahanzeb Khan, Junaid Anwar Chaudhry and senior officials.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was told on Thursday that Pakistan Railway would complete the laying of 105 kilometers long rail track by March 23, 2023, to facilitate the transportation of Thar coal to power and cement plants as well as brick kilns across the country.
During a meeting, chaired by the prime minister, it was told that the new rail track would be laid from Chhor to Islamkot which would cost Rs58 billion, to be equally borne by both the federal and Sindh governments.
The prime minister also constituted a committee under Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, with a mandate to assess the availability of coal from Thar Coal Mines and its demand in the local market, asking them to present a report within 72 hours.
The committee would also consist of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Special Assistant to PM Dr Jahanzeb Khan, Director General of Frontier Works Organization, and secretaries and experts of relevant ministries.
The prime minister told the meeting that it was among the government’s priorities to exploit the local energy resources. Thar Coal can cope with the country’s energy needs by helping to generate low-cost electricity, he added.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Energy Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema and special assistants to PM Dr Jahanzeb Khan and Zafaruddin Mahmood, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday urged the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa to rise above politics as the country grappled with the impact of flash floods and join the centre’s scheme of providing wheat seeds to farmers of the affected areas.
Chairing a review meeting of National Flood Response and Coordination Centre, the prime minister offered the two provinces to collaborate with the federal government under the scheme which will ensure funding for wheat seeds with 50 percent contribution from both sides.