PML-N given mandate to resolve energy crisis: Shahbaz


Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said people have given a historic mandate to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for resolving energy crisis.
He said the PML-N government is determined to overcome energy problem and is making its best efforts for generation of low-cost electricity and providing relief to the people. He said that besides setting up of energy fund Rs 30 billion have been allocated for this sector in Punjab. He said there is no other option except to curb energy problem. He appealed to local and foreign investors to set up power generation projects in Punjab and assured all possible incentives and facilities for this purpose.
Shahbaz said that former rulers displayed criminal negligence towards energy sector due to which not a single megawatt of electricity was generated during the last five years. He said the government gave priority to energy crisis and cleared circular debt of Rs 480 billion within 50 days. He said that action is being taken against electricity and gas thieves without any discrimination and this crackdown will continue. The CM said that there is a need to get rid of thermal power and adopt alternative sources of power generation. He said that a power park is being set up in Gadani where power plants would be established with imported coal. He said that all Pakistan Textile Mills Association is also setting up its power plant in Gadani and the electricity generated from this plant would be supplied to textile industry. The CM lamented that Nandipur Power Project fell a victim of corruption and greed of former rulers due to which not only this project was delayed for three years but the machinery worth billions of rupees became rusty while copper was stolen from the wires of the plant. He said that the country’s interest was compromised by delaying the 425 megawatt project. He said that the chairman of the Chinese company talked to President Asif Zardari two years ago for initiating the project but no progress was made.
LNG project could not be materialised due to corruption, he added. Shahbaz said the Punjab government had signed several memorandums of understanding with the Chinese government and companies for setting up of power plants and rapid progress is being made towards generation of power from alternative sources.
The CM directed the institutions concerned to immediately dispose of all matters. He said that the department concerned should immediately announce tariff of the energy to be produced from these sources so that the investors should not face any difficulty in launching these projects. The CM said that local and foreign investors should come forward for launching coal-based energy projects in Punjab and assured that the government would provide maximum facilities and incentives. He said that there is a capacity of producing 1000 megawatts of power from biogas in Punjab and this process can be completed in one and a half years.