Cheap solar panels in urban areas: CM Shahbaz Sharif
LAHORE: CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday that the provincial government was taking steps to overcome the energy crisis to provide relief to the people. At the same time, he said, promotion of private investment was being encouraged for generation of electricity.
He was presiding over a meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan camp office.
Shahbaz said the public, industrialists, labourers and farmers were equally worried over loadshedding of electricity as life itself had become miserable due to the energy crisis. He said industrial and agriculture sectors of Punjab were being severely damaged due to paucity of electricity and gas. He said the provincial government had chalked out an energy plan and was endeavoring to provide additional resources for energy sector so that energy needs were met in industrial, agriculture and domestic sectors.
Shahbaz said the provincial energy department was pursuing an active energy policy, in collaboration with all the stakeholders and private sector, was being motivated to benefit from investment opportunities in energy sector.
He directed the authorities that citizens living in urban areas should be provided with solar panels at concessionary rates for domestic use so that common citizens, who were fed up with loadshedding, could meet their requirement of electricity. Terming the proposed scheme of provision of solar panels an important step towards the betterment of the downtrodden, he said with this scheme, citizens would enjoy the facility of light.
He also directed the authorities that development work being carried out to generate energy from different sources, including solar energy, biogas and coal should be further accelerated. He said provision of land for future energy projects ought to be made a part of the energy policy of the provincial government. He said 8,500 tube-wells in the province were operating on diesel whereas operating these tube-wells on bio-gas would benefit farmers a great deal.
The chief minister said that small farmers, holding upto 12.5 acres agricultural land, ought to be provided special facility, under the policy of operating tube-wells on biogas.
wrong policies: Shahbaz Sharif has said that problems and difficulties of the people are increasing as a result of wrong policies of the rulers, including confrontation with the judiciary, corruption and bad governance.He said that due to criminal negligence of corrupt and incapable rulers, the country was facing a severe energy crisis but the PML-N, after coming to power, would bring the country out of the darkness.He was talking to a representative delegation of students belonging to various educational institutions in his camp office at Minar-e-Pakistan here on Thursday.Shahbaz said he had established the camp office to express solidarity with the people of Punjab over lack of implementation of the decisions made in energy conference and federal government’s stepmotherly treatment with Punjab regarding loadshedding. He said his protest camp office at Minar-e-Pakistan would continue until the decision of uniform loadshedding all over the country was not implemented. He said that by announcing the youth policy, the Punjab government had provided a platform to the young generation to express themselves which would enhance the role of younger generation in the national development.The chief minister said that Pakistan consisted of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Punjab. However, unfortunately, injustice was being done to Punjab regarding electricity and gas loadshedding resulting in loss to industry and unemployment.
He pointed out that 700 megawatt electricity, which was the legitimate right of Punjab, was being sent outside illegally and he could not remain silent on the situation.The CM said Pakistan had potential of generating electricity as it had coal reserves which were one of the biggest in the world. He said that had proper planning been made during the last four years to acquire energy through coal, hydle, biogas and other resources, the nation would not have not have been facing the current dire situation.
He said if the circular debt of Rs400 billion was paid off, the issue of energy crisis would be resolved within 24 hours, adding that non-payment of the circular debt was due to corruption and inefficiency of rulers. He said the country needed electricity to run industry and the amount like Rs70 billion of Benazir Income Support Programme should be spent on the electricity projects. He said Pakistan, unfortunately, had always faced corruption, however, during the last four years all records of corruption had been broken. He said the country needed a strong accountability system to get rid of corruption. He said Pervez Musharraf was equally responsible, along with the present rulers, for the energy crisis and other problems being faced by the country.
Answering questions of the youth, Shahbaz Sharif said the Punjab government was speedily implementing energy projects, saying that a year back, the Punjab government had taken the decision of rejecting all foreign aid which undermined the honour of the country. He pointed out that despite rejecting foreign aid, welfare programmes in Punjab were continuing successfully. He said corruption-free culture had been promoted in the province and it had been ensured that development funds were utilized in a transparent manner.
He said merit had been promoted in the province and more than 70,000 teachers had been recruited purely on merit. On the other hand, the CM pointed out that the previous rulers had promoted nepotism by inducting their political workers and cronies into the government departments.
Answering another question, the CM said Ashiana Housing Scheme had been initiated to provide shelter to workers, widows, and other poor segments of the society while quality education was being provided to the poor in Danish schools.
The meeting with the youth delegation continued for three hours, and chief minister answered all the questions asked by the youth delegation on the current political situation, corruption, energy issues and other matters in detail.Special Assistant Manshaullah Butt, MPAs and chairman Punjab Information Technology Board were also present.