Pull up your socks, PM tells Finance, Power ministries | Pakistan Today

Pull up your socks, PM tells Finance, Power ministries

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Tuesday directed Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to form a wing or a cell to expedite resolution of issues regarding release of allocations to the ministries or departments concerned and the provincial governments.
Chairing a meeting with the government’s financial team, Gilani stressed the need for an efficient functioning of all the ministries and departments involved in restructuring public sector enterprises to speed up the decision making process.
He directed the Finance Ministry to monitor the progress in resolving the issues pertaining to various ministries as well as the provincial governments. He instructed that his office be regularly updated on the developments in such cases.
The prime minister stressed upon expediting reforms and restructuring the public sector enterprises on a fast track basis to help minimise their expenditure.
He said all public sector enterprises should follow a timeframe for restructuring and revamping.
On the economic situation, Gilani said the government had to take difficult decisions, however he claimed that such decisions were taken to help the country achieve self-reliance. The problems facing the country had multiplied with the international recession, increasing oil prices and the devastating floods. Earlier, the minister for finance and his team briefed the prime minister on the state of economy. The finance secretary briefed the premier on measures taken for structural economic reforms. He said if not undertaken, the reforms could affect the growth rate besides causing inflation.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also directed the ministry of water and power to finalise formation of the boards of directors of the electricity generating companies within a week. He said the public sector enterprises had to be transformed into economically viable entities in order to reduce the burden on national exchequer.
Earlier, Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf and Water and Power Secretary Javed Iqbal briefed the prime minister on the situation and problems arising out of circular debts.
The prime minister was told that besides tariff differentials due to difference in cost and rates of electricity, the provincial governments had yet to clear their pending bills.
The prime minister was told that the hydropower plants would have to be closed from December 25 to January 31 because of the desilting of the canals throughout the country. He was also informed that the reduction in power generation would be supplemented by increasing electricity production through thermal plants running on oil which was a costly option.

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