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Energy crisis to be resolved with joint efforts: CM

CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has identified the energy crisis as the biggest problem presently facing the masses, and said PML-N government was focusing all energies to overcome this crisis with the collective efforts of all the stakeholders at the earliest.

He was addressing the Punjab Assembly session on Wednesday soon after the House approved all 43 demands for grants of the provincial budget 2013-14 which totaled Rs 1210.214 billion.

Shahbaz Sharif referred to various meetings both federal and Punjab governments were holding with foreign experts, especially from Turkey, who were assisting the government to find a workable solution to energy crisis. He said media today was immensely powerful and government had to listen to media whether sometimes its analysis were not according to contexts. He said that the energy crisis has become the issue of survival of the country. He said that energy crisis would be certainly overcome through collective wisdom and untiring efforts. He said that electricity theft of Rs 207 billion, expenditure of billions of dollars on the import of oil and shortage of gas are big problems. He said that with these problems, neither nations make progress nor the begging bowl can be broken.

The chief minister said that Punjab government has allocated Rs 22 billion for eliminating energy crisis, however, this amount is not sufficient and we have to allocate more for this purpose. He said that energy projects would have to be implemented through public private partnership. He said that conversion of streetlights, offices, hospitals and educational institutions to solar energy is being considered for overcoming the shortage of energy.

Later, talking to media outside Punjab Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif said government has given best budget in difficult situation, as no burden was put on the common man but elite has been brought into tax net. Replying to a question about the treason case against Pervez Musharraf, he said this case did not relate to October 12, 1999. He said this case related to suo motu notice taken by Supreme Court regarding house arrest of judges by Musharraf. Replying to another question, Shahbaz Sharif said terrorism is also a big problem and the government is going to convene an All Parties Conference (APC) for adopting national approach to overcome this problem in which the national policy would be given a final shape in consultation with all stakeholders.

woman’s death at hospital: Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the death of a woman at Services Hospital due to alleged negligence.

He has sought a report from Provincial Minister for Health and Secretary Health in this regard. The chief minister said that if any negligence proved in the inquiry, action would be initiated under the law. Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif has condemned the attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar of Sindh High Court and blast near car at Karachi. He expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident of terrorism.

Moreover, chief minister condemned the incident of bomb attack on the head of Peace Committee in Bannu. He expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the deaths of head of Peace Committee Malik Hashim Khan, his son and nephew and prayed for the departed souls.

Rs 4b subsidy: Shahbaz Sharif has said that provincial government will provide maximum relief to people and a subsidy to the tune of Rs 4 billion for providing edibles at cheaper rates during Ramazan.

He said that 350 Ramazan bazaars would be set up and an amount of Rs 100 will be given as subsidy on 20Kg atta bag in Ramazan bazaars whereas Rs 60 in open market. He said that the ministers and secretaries will visit Ramazan bazaars regularly.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting at chief minister’s office here Wednesday in which Ramazan Package was discussed and approval has been given to various proposals. Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that like previous year, PML-N Punjab government has allocated a huge sum of Rs 4 billion for providing facilities to the common man in the budget this year. He warned that strict action would be taken against the hoarders and creators of artificial price-hike during Ramazan and directed that price control magistrates should be fully activated in this regard. Shahbaz Sharif said that meat, poultry, sugar, ghee and other items would also be provided at lesser rates. The meeting decided that special committee of cabinet would review the provision of essential items on daily basis and monitor the prices. He directed that the cabinet committee should contact poultry, sugar and ghee associations and hold talks with them for providing relief to people. He said that besides Ramazan bazaars, fair price shops would also be set up throughout the province. He said that Madni Ramazan Dastarkhwan would also be set up throughout the province where the facility of Sehar and Iftar would be provided to the fasting people with the cooperation of philanthropists. The CM directed the divisional commissioners and DCOs to ensure best arrangements in Ramazan bazaars in their respective districts and tents should also be installed for the convenience of the people during hot weather.

Additional Chief Secretary while giving a briefing to the meeting informed that the instructions have been issued to the commissioners at divisional level and all DCOs at districts level for arrangements of Ramazan bazaars.

ENERGY CRISIS: Shahbaz Sharif has said that country is facing situation like emergency and emergent measures will have to be taken to overcome the energy crisis.

He directed the Cabinet Committee on Energy to consider practicable projects and bring viable projects by holding daily meetings. Shahbaz Sharif said that he himself will preside over the meetings of Cabinet Committee on Energy thrice a week.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting held to take steps to resolve energy crisis at Chief Minister’s office, here Wednesday.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister directed the authorities concerned to submit comprehensive recommendations regarding energy projects. He said that all resources would be provided to resolve energy crisis. Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government has allocated a substantial amount in the budget of new fiscal year for energy projects. He said that biogas, biomass and solar energy projects under public-private partnership are being considered. He said that the work on the project running tube-wells through biogas, biomass and solar energy should be carried out speedily to overcome the shortage of water for agriculture sector. The CM directed to submit him a comprehensive report within two days.

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