LAHORE: “The solution to Pakistan’s energy crisis lies with Sindh. The province can help meet energy demands in the country,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Monday.
He was speaking at Lahore Press Club’s Meet The Press session.
Shah said Sindh had 185 million tonnes of coal reserves. Nearly 70 per cent of natural gas in the country was produced by the province, he said. “Experts say that the wind corridor in Sindh has the capacity to produce 50,000 megawatts of electricity. This will be clean energy,” he said.
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The chief minister said he had informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Sindh could help produce 1,000MW wind power. “I requested him to let us make our own transmission and dispatch company. We can produce electricity from wind but we don’t have the means to include it into national grid. I also requested that the NEPRA [The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority] give us a tariff,” he said.
Asked why the Sindh government did not produce electricity in 2008 when the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had formed the federal government, Shah said investors had been twice forced to leave Pakistan. He said three provinces had adopted resolutions against Kalabagh Dam. “National solidarity is more important than any project.” He said the amount of water needed for the project was also not available.
The chief minister said the provincial government’s operation against encroachments would continue. “We are committed to a cleaner Karachi, a greener Thar and a safer Sindh.” Shah said he believed in appointing the right man for the right job. He said the law and order situation in Sindh was as good as in any other province. He said no political party [in Sindh] had been disallowed political activities.
About the National Finance Commission Award, he said Sindh had completed its work in this regard quite early and that he hoped that the next budget would be presented under the NFC.
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Shah called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed matters of mutual interest, including promotion of inter-provincial harmony. Sharif stressed the need for collective efforts to bring about prosperity. He said consensus on the previous NFC Award was a big achievement for political parties. He said Pakistan’s progress was linked to the development of all provinces.
Sharif said the Punjab government had included students from Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in its educational programmes. This had helped promote national harmony and brotherhood.
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Sharif congratulated Shah on becoming chief minister and wished him success. Shah also visited the Punjab Information Technology Board and the Forensic Science Laboratory. Speaking at the PITB, Shah said Punjab’s rapid progress and improved governance were due to skilful use of modern technology.
Shah also called on Governor Rafique Rajawana at Governor’s House. The governor said cooperation between the two provinces would help promote harmony.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2016.
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