The government plans to execute 31 projects during this year, worth Rs3.71 billion, to energise the industrial sector under an annual development programme. These projects include expanding the nation’s high-skilled human resources through targeted worker skills development programmes; provision of technology through technological upgrading; and provision of sophisticated machines, equipment, tools and spares.
Elaborating further, an official privy with the details said on Tuesday that related programmes include research and development initiatives in key industrial sectors; targeted development of small and medium business entities to boost employment and reduce poverty; industrial infrastructure development through industrial parks and development of industrial estates; attracting foreign direct investment through incentives including 100% ownership and right to repatriate capital; and joint public-private ventures.
Responding to a question, the official said that after devolution of powers, the provincial governments are not restricted to adding to their electricity and energy resources to cover the energy shortfall.
He also enumerated initiatives taken to safeguard interests of the industrial sector, such as promoting the plugging of sources of energy wastage and encouraging captive power generation from coal in an environmentally friendly manner. In this regard, the National Productivity Organization carries out energy efficiency and conservation audits; while the Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies is helping in the commercialisation and marketing of renewable energy products like solar stoves, solar backup batteries, inverters and reverse meters, bio-gas plants, micro hydel plants, he added.
He said other steps include spreading awareness among the populace to help them adopt off-grid solutions for power generation. These include switching industries to alternate energy resources or captive power generation, and promoting captive power for industry through surface coal gasifiers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012.