PM: (Hydro, LNG and coal projects being established to end load shedding: PM)


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf (PTI) to practice mature politics for the sake of the country.

Inaugurating 102 megawatt of Gulpur power plant at Kotli in Azad Kashmir on Thursday, he asked the PTI to accept the results of recently held by-polls in Punjab, adding the government desires a constructive and positive politics in the best national interests.

He said the government kept the PTI members part of the parliament by requesting the Jamiyat Ulema-e Islam-F and MQM to withdraw their resolutions against them.

He, however said, the nation should also see as to who is carrying forward the development agenda and who is impeding the process. He said the nation should take notice of the negative politics of the party and hold them accountable for their deeds.

He regretted that the government approved a historic farmers package worth Rs 350 billion but the PTI opposed it. He said the PTI is fearful of the development agenda of the PML (N) and takes it as a threat for the next general elections.

Turning to the power sector, the Prime Minister said the government plans to build a host of small and big hydropower projects to address the issue of electricity shortage.

He pointed out the foreign companies are showing great interest to invest in the country especially in the power sector. He said the foreign investors should become partners in the mega projects of Diamer Bhasha and Dasu Dams which will add about which will add about nine thousand megawatt of electricity to the national grid. He said 969 megawatt Neelum Jhelum project is nearing completion and we are interested to privatize it after its commissioning.

Nawaz Sharif said the government is also setting up three LNG power projects having the capacity of 3600 megawatt. He said foundation stone of one of the power plants has been laid while two hundred billion rupees will be provided from the public sector development program for the other two LNG power projects. He said these projects will become functional by 2017.

The Prime Minister reiterated the commitment to address the issue of power shortage by the end of 2017. He said power shortages have already considerably been reduced from twelve to six hours. These will continue to decline in the years to come.

He said the government is laying more emphasis to produce electricity at cheaper rates. For this purpose, he said hydro electric, LNG and coal projects are been established. He said providing cheap electricity to the industries is imperative to make their products competitive in the international markets.

He said Thar coal mine is also being explored to meet the future energy requirements of the country. About China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project, the Prime Minister said the work on this project has been fast tracked.

In his remarks, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said the Gulpul power project will provide clean and affordable energy. He said the government has adopted a futuristic policy to enhance efficiency of public sector power plants besides accelerating pace of work on under construction or delayed power projects in order to complete them in the shortest possible time.

He pointed out that there is potential of generating five hundred megawatt of power on Poonch river which will be fully exploited. Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Chaudhary Abdul Majeed appreciated the government’s steps towards addressing the electricity shortage.

He also lauded the prime minister for strongly raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly.