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Roadmap ready to implement power projects: CM

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the energy crisis has left a negative impact on the economic and trade activities and the government is taking measures from the very first day for resolving the crisis.

He said electricity was essential for foreign investment and prosperity of the country, adding that the Punjab government had evolved a comprehensive roadmap for the speedy implementation of power generation projects and rapid progress was being made in this direction.

He said foundation stone of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, to be set up over an area of 7,500 acre, in Cholistan would be laid soon which would not only bring about a revolution in solar energy sector but all out facilities would also be available to foreign investors.

Shahbaz was talking to a delegation of prominent Chinese company ZTE Solar China which, led by its President Yu Yong, met him here on Sunday.

Talking to the delegation, the CM said that nothing could be more important than solution to the energy problem, therefore, every effort was being made by the government in this direction. He said a favourable atmosphere had been created in the province for investment in energy sector due to which foreign companies were extending all out cooperation in the sector.

The CM said the Punjab government had also evolved a comprehensive roadmap in the light of the detailed consultation and suggestions of the experts for generation of electricity from solar energy, biomass, biogass, bagasse, hydle power and coal and an energy secretariat was also being established for speedy implementation of power projects. Similarly, a provincial energy commission was being formed for policy framework and formulation of rules and regulations, he said. The chief minister further said that China was a trusted friend of Pakistan which helped Pakistan in every hour of need. He also appreciated the cooperation of China in resolving energy crisis, adding that agreements had been signed with several Chinese companies for solar and coal-based power projects and measures were being taken for their early implementation. Shahbaz said ZTE Solar China should consider setting up a 500 megawatt solar energy project in Punjab in a year and also present a financial model in this regard.

He said that a team, headed by Secretary Energy, should evolve a strategy for cooperation with the Chinese Company in solar energy sector. He said China was producing 48,000 megawatt electricity from solar power and Pakistan also wanted to benefit from Chinese expertise and experience in this sector.

The ZTE Solar China president said that his company was interested in cooperation with Pakistan, especially Punjab, in solar energy sector and a strategy would be finalized in this regard with the consultation of the officers concerned.

condolence: Shahbaz Sharif has expressed sorrow over the death of a prominent researcher, critic and scholar Dr Farman Fatehpuri. In a condolence message, the CM lauded the role of Dr Fatehpuri for the promotion of Urdu language and said that his literary services would long be remembered.

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