* Pervez Ashraf informs Energy Roundtable government doing its best to control crisis

Federal Minster for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that all provinces are free to launch their own power projects.

Addressing an Energy Roundtable conference on Friday, Ashraf said the country was experiencing the worst energy crisis and the government was doing all to control the situation. The Energy Roundtable called on all stakeholders to consider energy shortage seriously and take measures to take the nation out of the crisis.

The Energy Roundtable was organised by the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBTI) in collaboration with the Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB) and the Punjab Power Development Company (PPDC). Addressing the conference, Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said the power crisis had gone out of proportion and had crippled routine life.

He said the people and the economy were suffering badly, adding that it was a “great tragedy that the whole industry has slowed down terribly, trading activities have been dampened and the employment market has depressed the youth”.
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Time: Shahbaz said it was not a time to point to the reasons for the power crisis, but that for coming forward with all resources to bring the society back to routine.

He said the purpose of the conference was not to tackle the prevailing situation, but also envisaging plans to avoid such a crisis in the future.

The chief minister said terrorism and extremism had left devastating effects on the nation and the stressed the need for combating the menace on an emergency basis.

He said the government had resorted to energy conservation measures that had helped save 1000MW of electricity, which subsequently provided relief to the industrial and agriculture sectors. Shahbaz pointed out that Pakistan, especially Punjab, was rich in natural resources and tapping them was the prime duty of the government.

He invited both local and foreign investors to step forward and establish independent power generating plants, announcing that there would be no NOC required for the purpose. Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the country was experiencing the worst energy crisis and the government was doing all to control the situation.

He said the present government realised the gravity of the situation and took steps to seek the quickest sources of energy.

Ashraf said, “If the government takes hydel projects, they will take five to six years to materialise, while three to four years are required for thermal generating projects.”

He said the government preferred rental power projects to get electricity at the quickest. “Though it is a tough decision, the government has no other means to pull the country out of prevailing crisis,” he said.

Ashraf praised the Punjab chief minister for his role in making the Centre’s energy conservation plan a success.
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Daily Times