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Privatisation of power sector useless sans strong regulatory body

Planning and Development minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that privatisation of power sector will be meaningless in the absence of a strong regulatory body.

Addressing the opening session of 34th Convention of Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pakistan (IEEEP) on Monday, the minister added that the cartelisation in ‘privatised’ power sector was possible if there would not be strong regulator.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar was chief guest on the occasion. IEEEP President Engineer Tahir Basharat Cheema also spoke on occasion.

“The energy crisis is the result of lack of proper planning,” held the minister, fearing a worst water crisis in Pakistan in next ten years if proper planning was not made.

Informing the engineers about his ministry’s work, he said that Planning Commission was working on both short term and long term plans in order to address the issues of water and energy. “We have prepared long and term measures with the cooperation of experts of relevant sectors,” he said.

He suggested that the Punjab government should review its decision of teaching English from class 1. He was of the view “English should be taught from class five. Education should be given in native language because it is easy for the children to understand the concepts in their own language.” Ahsan said that today was the world of relevant technologies and hi-tech which was directly associated with electrical engineering. He said that root cause behind the country’s problems was that the non-technical people took technical decisions.

He assured that that he would move the summary to the Prime Minister to provide service structure to the engineers.

Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhry Sarwar expressed the hope that Pakistan would get the GSP plus status from January 1, 2014. He said that country’s exports would touch $2 billion in two to three years after getting the GSP plus status and millions of jobs would be created. He was of the view that provision of clean drinking water was the biggest issue of Pakistan. He said that donors had given millions of rupees for the provision of drinking water but unfortunately majority of the filtration plants were not working properly because they were installed without proper guidance of engineers.

He said that he himself conducted a survey of 30 schools in which the arsenal level of water is 75 per cent which according to WHO should not be more than 10 per cent.

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