Announcing a reduction in power tariff by Rs 2.32, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said the step would provide relief to domestic users, industrialists and farmers. Talking to media persons here at the Governor’s House, the Prime Minister said that the government despite financial constraints was pursuing a policy of providing relief to the masses to ensure their progress and prosperity.
He said petroleum prices were also expected to be further slashed later this month. The Prime Minister said earlier he had launched the Hazara motorway for the people and now he was announcing a reduction in power tariff. “This is part of my vision of a developed KPK and a real Naya Pakistan,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government was also making concerted efforts to change the energy mix from thermal to other affordable sources, including coal and hydro generation, to bring down the cost of electricity production. He said the low-cost electricity generation through coal-fired and Liquefied Natural Gas-based power houses would help lower the cost of production vis-a-vis exportable goods and help local products compete the international markets.
He said with investment by China, the construction of power houses was under way and would start generating electricity in three years. He said sit-ins had delayed installation of these power houses. He said industrialists were keen to invest in the country but power shortage was a major impediment in this regard.
He recalled that during his previous tenure, the country was self-sufficient in power generation and had surplus electricity to be exported to India. He said had the previous governments taken steps for power generation, the country would not have to face the present power crisis. The Prime Minister said power theft was another big challenge and stressed upon immediate steps to control it. He emphasised the need for checking corrupt practices within the departments and electricity consumers.
He also stressed on improving the transmission system. He was already heading a cabinet committee tasked to take measures in this regard, he added. The Prime Minister said that the government was carrying out several development projects, including a road and motorways network. He said a gas pipeline from the Iranian border would be laid upto Nawabshah while work on Lahore-Karachi motorway would start soon.
To a question on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan’s call to shut down Karachi on Friday, the Prime Minister said questions ought to be about development projects rather than such protests. He mentioned in this regard several ongoing development schemes of the government including projects of electricity generation from dams, laying of gas pipelines, solar energy and motorways.
He said the government was also strengthening relations with neighbouring countries including Afghanistan. Soon a day will come when a motorway would be constructed from Peshawar to Kabul, he added. Nawaz Sharif said that the government was taking every possible step to eradicate terrorism for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan. He mentioned that economic indicators had improved and rupee was appreciating against dollar. Governor KPK Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, Secretary General Pakistan Muslim League Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Political Secretary Asif Kirmani were also present