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PM calls two-day energy conference for proposals to resolve Issue

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Friday asked to hold a two-day Energy Conference from coming Monday to discuss all aspects of power shortage in the country and formulate concrete proposals to resolve the issue at the earliest.

He asked all the chief ministers and concerned ministers to attend the conference along with their team of experts to sort out all impediments.The Prime Minister was chairing a special meeting on energy sector particularly the power shortage in the country causing great inconvenience to the people.

The meeting held at the Prime Minister’s House here Friday evening was also attended by the Chief Ministers of the provinces.

During the two-day conference the experts will discuss, utilization of existing capacity of power projects; diversification of gas to the power sector; resolution of issues of payments to PEPCO,Resolution of circular debts, enable fuel base IPPs to increase production, better management to improve efficiency of power plants as well as transmission losses, focus on medium term projects for expanding capacity through construction of hydel, coal and other sources of energy, better load management and efforts for energy/electricity conservation.

The Prime Minister said that public protests in various cities against load shedding are becoming a daily routine and source of serious concern for the government. He appealed to the nation to show patience, as the government is seriously working to overcome the energy shortage in minimum possible time.

The new projects, Prime Minister Gilani said have been commissioned, while more are on track for commissioning in coming weeks and months. He expressed confidence that the country will soon start benefiting from the fruits of the policy measure taken by the government.

The Prime Minister said political leadership has shown remarkable maturity on NFC Award and 18th Constitutional Amendment and the same kind of spirit is required to address the issues of the people. He added the energy shortage is major one and it need to be taken on priority.

The Prime Minister soon after his return from foreign tour called the meeting on energy and power shortage and invited all the provincial Chief Ministers to personally attend the meeting. It was both in spirit of consultation and in wake of urgency of situation that the Prime Minister called for the meeting.

Highlighting the causes of energy shortage, the Prime Minister said one of the major reasons of present energy situation is the issue of circular debt. He added this has hampered our persistent endeavors to eliminate the load shedding. He expressed the hope that Federal and Provincial Governments will sit together and resolve the issue once for all.

The Prime Minister asked the concerned agencies to take immediate measures to ensure fuel supplies to fully utilize the power generation capacities presently lying idle. He also asked for making conservation measures more consistent to have visible impact in the situation on ground. He called for cooperation on the part of provincial governments in energy conservation by ensuring early closure of the markets and social functions in the evening by a designated time.

He said that the IPPs and RPPs already cleared must be implemented as soon as possible.The Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Water and Power to fast track their efforts for the commissioning of new hydel and thermal power projects. He asked the Ministry to avoid unannounced load shedding and follow the load management schedule to reduce the hardships of the people.

Earlier, briefing the meeting the Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz said that the situation is likely to exist for another fortnight till enough water is available in major dams for producing more electricity.

Till the time the situation improves conservative measure will have to be undertaken to minimize the difficulties of the people.

He also apprised the meeting that the sugar mill owners have been called for a meeting after three days to finalize details for purchasing electricity from them as per decision of the Cabinet. He mentioned that pilot project of running tubewells on solar energy has been quite successful and if this system can be adopted in the entire rural areas around 3000 MW of electricity can be saved.

The bigger projects initiated by the government are planned on long term basis and are economically feasible as cost per unit is much less, he added. He informed that the 220 MW project gifted by UAE would be shipped to Pakistan soon and would be installed in Faisalabad.

He also revealed that Pakistan is ready to buy gas and electricity from Iran but it would take Iranian Government about five years to complete gas pipeline and transmission lines up to the border, with Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Federal Minster for Information, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Water and Power, Raja Parvez Ashraf, Minister for Petroleum, Syed Naveed Qqmar, Advisor on Finance, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister, NWFP, Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Federal Secretaries of the concerned ministries and other senior government officials.

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