ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani expressed his severe concern and disappointment at the prevailing energy crisis stressing on the cabinet to do its utmost to control the crisis at the energy conference he convened on Monday.
The Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf in his welcome address said that conservation measures can considerably reduce the pressure on the current loadshedding duration and sought the support of all stakeholders to develop a mechanism for initiating conservation measures.
Addressing a two-day National Energy Summit to finalise a concrete roadmap to overcome the current power crisis at Prime Minister’s Secretariat , Ashraf who took the chair, stated that optimal capacity for power generation was being exploited by Pepco and diversion of some more gas can further enhance the capability to generate. He informed the meeting that the recurring circular debt is also limiting the ability to play on the front foot.
All the four chief minister’s, federal ministers for petroleum, information and broadcasting, food and ggriculture, provincial ministers, principal secretary to the prime minister, secretaries of finance, water and power, petroleum, chairman Wapda, MD Pepco, KESC, PPIB, representatives of APTMA, chambers, trade associations, senior officials of water and power, finance, petroleum, Nepra and leading energy experts and investors participated in the conference.
He said that present government was fully cognizant of the seriousness of the issue and that the elected government feels the pangs of pain of common citizens, and the difficulties faced by the industrialists, traders and business community on this account.
"Unfortunately, the nation has come to this state after several years of neglect of the power sector by the preceding government. Till 2004, the country was meeting all its electricity requirements. After that, the gap between supply and demand kept on increasing from year to year, and no substantial investments both in public and private sector were directed. However, the present government had started the journey towards making the power sector sustainable and initiated diversified measures in the short, medium and long term perspective to meet the challenges." he deliberated.
He urged the conference that at this hour of crisis, there was a need to reach out to the people in developing a common approach to a major crisis. He stressed that the media can play a very constructive role instead of sensationalising and exploiting the issue.
Talking exclusively to Online , Raja Pervez Ashraf said that a lot of misunderstandings were cleared regarding loadshedding , over which various provinces presented their viewpoint , and assured that with the cooperation of the masses the menace of loadshedding would be soon be overcome.
All the chief ministers separately gave their point of views on this serious issue of the power crisis, energy conservation, and other short term measures to overcome the energy crisis and assured their full support to resolve this national issue and to implement the decisions to be taken in this forum.
Among these the CM Punjab, Mian Sahabaz Sharif presented a nine-point formula for overcoming the energy crisis, which included a just distribution of electricity between provinces, preferential distribution of energy for industrial and agricultural sector, ban on billboards, construction of Basha Dam, and experimenting with such alternate energy sources as coal reserves and sugarcane remnants.
The Punjab CM also expressed his satisfaction over the fact that Karachi industry was not forced to close , but nevertheless Punjab had suffered greatly in this regard, causing spillover of masses on streets.
Two public holidays, closure of commercial concerns by 2000 hrs and other recommendations were also reviewed, over which a final decision would be taken in Tuesday's meeting
They were of the view that the issues of the power sector should be addressed in the national interest on a war footing basis. A presentation on short, medium and long-term measures to end energy shortfall was also given by the Punjab Government. Pepcoand Wapda apprised the summit participants of the capacity addition plans of projects based on indigenous resources of the country on short, medium and long-term basis.
The prime minister has directed that Energy Summit shall conclude after firming up final recommendations on Tuesday.
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