PM lauds Punjab govt’s drive against power theft

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed for maximising utilisation renewable energy resources to reduce country’s oil import bill and measures to provide relief to common man in electricity cost.

Talking about the ongoing drive against power theft, he lauded the performance of the Punjab government and expressed hope that other provinces would also follow suit to overcome the challenge.

Presiding over a meeting here, the prime minister observed that country’s oil imports have reached the figure of 27 billion dollars annually to meeting power and transportation needs, saying that huge foreign exchange could be controlled by using alternative resources like solar, wind and hydel.

The prime minister said that strengthening the country’s power transmission system requires utmost efforts and investment mentioning that the power production and investments in the sector would go down the drain unless the flaws in distribution network are removed.

He directed the energy ministry to engage world-class consultants to suggest ways forward to improve power transmission and distribution system. The prime minister also directed to shift imported coal-fired power plants on local coal. He said in the future only clean and low cost hydropower and renewable plants will be installed in the country.

The meeting was also briefed on the 600MW solar power project under foreign investment. The prime minister issued instructions to the authorities concerned to speed up efforts for foreign investment in the solar energy project.

PM Shehbaz Sharif directed to accelerate the process of privatization of active Gencos and auction of inefficient power houses. The prime minister said all possible measures are being taken to reduce the per unit price of electricity for the common man.

The premier expressed deep grief over loss of precious lives and damages in recent torrential rains in different parts of the country. He directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to carry out relief operations in rain-hit areas and ensure provision of all necessary relief goods to the affected people.

Federal Ministers Awais Khan Leghari, Attaullah Tarar, Musadik Malik, Ahad Cheema, Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and senior officials of ministries and divisions concerned attended the meeting.