The Punjab Assembly on Friday demanded that the federal government ensure equitable discrimination of scarce electric power among Federating unit.
Earlier, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz agreed a consensus text for the resolution over energy situation.
Speaking on the resolution, Sanaullah said that the Punjab contributed 60 per cent to the industrial development of the entire country. He said the country’s development was linked to agriculture and industry in the province, which he said, was being affected by the energy crisis. He demanded that the federal government distribute natural gas and electricity fairly among the provinces.
He said the Centre had exhibited a bias against the Punjab. He said each electric power distribution company should be provided electricity on the basis of its performance. The resolution said funds should be released for new hydel projects so that country’s dependence on electricity generated using oil and gas be decreased.
It also said that work on the Pak-Iran gas pipeline be expedited and timely import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) be ensured.
It said that the available supply of natural gas should be utilised for industrial and electricity purpose on priority basis and supply to other production sectors should be shut down.
The law makers said if provinces wanted to generate their own electricity, the federal government should make the procedure easy for them.
They also sought a review of the monthly fuel adjustment charge determination.
They also demanded the government encourage captive power generation and end the restrictions on the private sector for sale and purchase of electricity.
Salaries of media workers
Sanaullah also moved a resolution calling for journalists, who have not been paid their salaries for several months, to be paid immediately. Raja Riaz lent strong support to the resolution.
PPP’s Hassan Murtaza moved a resolution demanding that the government make its payment of Rs300 million to the All Pakistan Newspaper Society conditional on payment of workers’ salaries. He also called for implementation of the wage board award.
The session that resumed at 5pm, two hours later than scheduled, was prorogued for an indefinite period, after five bills, passed earlier but returned by the governor were passed again. These bills were about katchi abadis, Government Servants Housing Foundation, environment protection, local government and the Walled City.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.