ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed the ministry of water andpower to evolve long term energy security policy and explore opportunities to import electricity from neighboring countries including India immediately. He said that the energy crisis could be overcome through taking administrative measures.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired a high level meeting on energy situation at the Prime Minister’s Office here on Friday. The meeting was attended by Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance, Pervez Rashid, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Petroleum, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Water and Power, Dr Mussadiq Malik, Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Shaukat Fayaz A Tarin, Nadeem Babar, Mifta Ismail and Zayad Basheer.
The meeting took stock of overall energy situation and examined ways and means to improve it. It was decided in principle to take tangible measures both at increasing generation through energy mix and exploring alternate resources. The meeting also underlined the need to reduce theft, rationalize tariff and minimize line losses.
The meeting was apprised by the energy experts about strategy and implementation of timelines for reduction of load shedding. The meeting was also informed that new comprehensive energy policy which includes short terms, medium term and long term energy plan, would be ready by the end of this month as currently consultation is going on with all stakeholders.
The Prime Minister directed to also take on board the provinces in the consultative process.
The meeting was informed that a comprehensive strategy for recovery of dues from the defaulters has also been devised. It was also revealed that a highly professional project management office is being established in the Ministry which includes a policy and an implementation cell. The project management office shall supervise and review the progress on key policy decision and energy implementation plan.
It was decided that the Prime Minister will review energy situation on weekly basis.
The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that with dedication, better management and facilitation of energy sector companies, the situation will improve in near future. He, however, directed that options of long term energy security must also be examined and practical steps should be taken in this regard.
The Prime Minister also directed to examine possibility of importing energy from neighbouring countries to improve the situation on immediate basis.
The Prime Minister also directed that providing special care and maximum relief to the common man must be the top most consideration at the time of rationalization of tariff.
According to a private TV channel Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave a go-ahead to raise power tariff during a high-level meeting on energy crisis in Islamabad. The tariff for electricity is likely to be increased from July 1. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also directed the government team to step up efforts for securing electricity from alternative resources of energy. A plan aimed at resolving the circular debt issue was also presented in the meeting.
Pakistan is facing a shortfall of over 4,500 megawatts of power resulting in unprecedented load-shedding. Since taking over, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed to address the concerns on power crisis and has dubbed the issue as one to be dealt with as a matter of priority.