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Energy sector Govt’s top priority: Gilani

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LAHORE,: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday said on Sunday that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government attaches top priority to the energy sector and every measure would be taken to end the load-shedding. “The PPP government has the capability and the will to resolve the crises and it would take the country out of current energy crisis as it had pulled the country out of other crises”,he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 62 MW Gulf Rental Power Plant at Eminabad, Gujranwala.

The prime minister said the country was facing a deficit of 3000 MW electricity which would be overcome with hydro, rental power plants, coal and other renewable energy resources.

He said that the government had held Energy Summit which recommended to introduce load management and that had helped to overcome unscheduled load-shedding in the country.

Gilani said Pakistan was not the only country to face power shortage, India was facing a shortfall of 50,000 MW while Bangladesh and Nepal also confronted a problem of load-shedding.

He said the PPP government of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had brought the IPPs to the country in order to bring an end to load-shedding, and now while following her policy, the present PPP government too would resolve this crisis .

He said this was followed by scathing criticism to make the people believe that all investment would be deterimental to the economy of the country.

He said our standpoint stands vindicated after a lapse of a decade as the IPPs have established their credibility and they had become successful partner of the government in the matter of power generation.

“Your elected government is aware of its responsility to redress grievances of the masses,” he said.

The prime minister urged the investors to invest in Pakistan as the country offered very good opportunities to them.

Earlier, the Prime Minister inaugurated the 62 MW Gulf Rental Power Plant which is financed by a consortium of Saudi and Pakistani business houses within the record time period of seven months.

The Prime Minister said that the current power situation has not only dissapointed the masses but it has also badly affected the industry and slowed down economic growth in the country.

He said that the gap between demand and supply of power will have to be bridged in order to attain economic stability adding that Pakistan’s economic growth is seriously affected by the fast increasing gap between supply and demand of energy resources in general and electricity in particular.

Gilani said the government believes in expediting sustained economic growth by enhancing direct investment for industrial and infrastructure development and at the same time safeguarding the interests of the common citizens besides improving their standard of living.

He said the government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to provide electricity to every nook and corner of the country.

He said this strategy will enhance the capacity of building new power generation plants as well as upgradation of the existing transmission and distribution of infrastructure.

Gilani asserted that public and private sectors have to work hand in hand adding the government has already announced a lucrative framework to attract investment in energy sector.

He said the government will provide full support to encourage local and foreign power generation companies.

It has been the policy of the democratic government led by PPP to make Pakistan self-sufficient in the field of energy.

Gilani said the government would extend complete help for completing mega 850 MW Suki Kinari Hydro Power Project which will cost USD 1.4 billion.

He said that Suki Kinari hydel power project would be one of the largest hydro power projects in Asia.

The prime minister said the government would double the generation capacity of the country from the current 20,000 MW to 40,000 within the next ten years.

The Prime Minister also sought larger private investment and said that public private partnership could greatly help set up energy projects.

He said the government would form partnerships with the multilateral financial institutions besides ensuring cooperation between the federal and provincial governments as both will have to work attaining the objective.

He said he has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help secure support as needed from bilateral partners.

The prime minister said the government would work hard to realise this vision.

Responding to the cheering of the party workers, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said he would convene a meeting of the local party workers to resolve their issues.

He also received applications from the party workers while leaving the venue of the public gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said, “We will rid the nation of the menace of load-shedding by seeking a balance between demand and supply of electricity”.

The Minister said the purported campaign against the IPPs by our detractors has failed adding that the impression that IPPs were set up without guarrantees is incorrect.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the inauguration of Gulf rental power plant has been launched to treat the chronic power shortages, inherited from the previous dictatorial regimes, is a lucid proof of the vision of Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto adding that the dream of making Pakistan self-sufficient in power generation would be realized under the dynmaic leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and competent command of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

The minister said 3000 MW of electricity would be injected into the power generation capacity of the country by the end of this year.

Federal Minister for Population Welfare Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Minister for State for Communication Imtiaz Safdar Warraich were also present on the occasion.