Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani directed the Ministry of Finance to immediate release Rs.6 billion to the M/o Water and Power for its payment to the generation companies for enhanced power generation to reduce the load shedding across the country.
The Prime Minister further directed the M/o Petroleum and Natural Resources to take immediate steps for the provision of natural gas to the power plants so that more electricity may be included in the system, to minimize the load-shedding hours.
The Prime Minister gave these directions while presiding over a meeting to review the energy situation in the country at PM’s House here this evening. The meeting was attended by Minister of Water and Power, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Dr. Asim Hussain, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Deputy Chairman Planning, Dr. Nadeem ul Haq, Secretaries of the relevant Ministries and other high government officials.
While emphasizing the need for continuous coordination and discussion for resolution of the energy issues faced by the country, the Prime Minister directed the Energy Committee of the Cabinet to hold its meeting on daily basis. The meeting of the Committee on daily basis would resolve issues coming in the way of implementation of various decisions, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also directed for holding of the energy conference on April 9, 2012 to consult various stake holders and evolve a national policy to deal with the energy problem faced by the country.
The Prime Minister also directed the Minister for Water and Power to hold meeting with defaulting Provincial Governments and Private sector for recovery of the outstanding dues which will boost the revenue source and further reduce the circular debt.
The Prime Minister further directed the Minister for Water and Power to hold meeting with business community and other stakeholders to take them onboard regarding the government’s policies and seek their views.
The Prime Minister said that resolution of the energy issue is the top priority of the government and in this regard every step would be taken. He said that the shortage of energy is the main hindrance in the way of foreign investment in the country.
The meeting was briefed by the Minister for Water and Power regarding the current energy shortfall and the steps taken so far to rationalize the load shedding. He informed the meeting that due to the long winter spell the water inflow has not been to the expected mark and therefore the hydel production has suffered. He said that in the April the water inflow is expected to rise resulting in the increased hydel production which in turn will lead towards the reduction in the load shedding hours.
The Minister for Finance, who was especially invited to brief the meeting about the views of foreign investors, apprised the meeting that a large number of foreign investors from different countries have shown keen interest in various sectors in Pakistan.
Minister for Petroleum put forth different suggestions to improve the supply of gas to the power plants for increased power generation.
The Finance Minister apprised the Prime Minister about different long, medium and short term measures which the Energy Committee has so far deliberated upon.
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