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Shahbaz says Rs30 billion allocated for energy sector

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that provincial government has allocated a sum of Rs30 billion for energy sector and appealed to foreign and local investors to come forward in the national interest and make investment in power generation projects.

The chief minister was addressing Punjab Energy Investment Conference arranged by Punjab Board of Investment and Trade at a local hotel here Thursday.

He said the PML-N government is determined to overcome energy crisis and is making its best efforts for generation of low-cost electricity and providing relief to the people. He said a solution of energy crisis is, no doubt, a big challenge but the PML-N has accepted it and is taking all possible measures to overcome shortage of electricity.

He said besides setting up of energy fund, a sum of Rs30 billion has been allocated for this sector in Punjab.

He said the government immediately after coming into power gave top priority to resolving energy crisis and cleared circular debt of Rs480 billion within 50 days which is an important step towards resolving this issue.

Shahbaz said a power park is being set up in Gadani where power plants will be established with imported coal. He said all Pakistan Textile Mills Association is also setting up its power plant in Gadani.

He lamented that Nandipur Power Project fell victim to corruption and greed of former rulers due to which not only this project was delayed for three years but the machinery worth billions of rupees meant for this project became rusty while copper was stolen from the wires of the plant.

He said a demurrage of Rs1.5 billion was incurred due to lying of machinery at the Karachi Port. He said the interest of the country was compromised by delaying this project of 425 megawatt.

He said the chairman of the Chinese Company talked to President Zardari two years ago for initiating the project but no progress was made.

Similarly, LNG project was also not materialised due to corruption and greed of the former rulers. Shahbaz said the Punjab government has signed several MOUs with Chinese government and companies for setting up of power plants and rapid progress is being made towards generation of power from alternative sources.

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