PML-N govt to repay circular debt within 60 days: Shahbaz

Jul 01, 2013

CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the mandate of the masses will be honoured and every effort will be made to rid them of energy crisis and other problems.

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He said Patwari culture would be changed, grievances of the aggrieved would be addressed, nefarious trade of spurious medicines would be uprooted, water theft would be curbed and availability of water would be ensured at tail ends of the canals.

Shahbaz was addressing assembly members from Sargodha division at the Chief Minister’s Office here on Sunday.

He urged the provincial ministers that they should not only keep their offices open to the people but also pay field visits to resolve public problems on the spot. He said a system of reward and punishment would be adopted and those serving the people would be encouraged while those taking no interest in public problems would be removed from their offices.

The CM said the former rulers paid no attention to resolving the energy problem during their five years. He said the PML-N had promised to resolve energy problem and it would definitely rid the people of the torture.

The chief minister said the circular debt of electricity had crossed the figure of Rs500 billion and the PML-N would also fulfill its promise of eliminating circular debt within 60 days. He said it was ironic that the rich and the poor were equally benefiting from the subsidy given on electricity, adding that the subsidy on the use of electricity from zero to 300 units, amounted to Rs150 billion while there were line losses and power theft of more than Rs200 billion. He said that these factors were resulting in an increase in circular debt, adding that subsidy to the poor was justified but it was not the right of the rich. Shahbaz Sharif said that tough decisions would have to be made to put the national economy on the right track. He said the cost of production of electricity could be reduced by adopting cheaper sources of power generation. He said cheap electricity could be produced through coal, hydro power, biogas, biomass and other sources. He said that there was a need to complete power generation projects based on cheaper alternative sources expeditiously.

He urged the provincial ministers and assembly members to maintain a close contact with the traders, industrialists and businessmen of their respective areas and inform them about the measures taken for resolving energy crisis, seeking their proposals to resolve the issue.

He said Nandipur power project was pending for the two and a half years due to corruption of the former rulers and its cost had increased from Rs22 billion to Rs57 billion. He said a further amount of Rs35 billion of the poor nation would now be spent on the project which was grave injustice. He said a country which had been begging for the last 65 years could not afford such losses.

The chief minister said that the LNG project, evolved in 2010, could not be started due to corrupt rulers and had the project been initiated, there would have been abundant gas in the country.

He said the Punjab government would play an effective role for curbing power theft and a taskforce, formed for this purpose, had started operating. He said that provincial government was formulating a five-year energy policy with the consultation of all stakeholders for resolving energy problem.

The CM said that measures had been initiated for changing Thana culture and 1,000 sub-inspectors would be recruited through the Public Service Commission on merit and in a transparent manner. He said that matters regarding pay package and promotion of these police officers would be settled so that they could perform their responsibilities with commitment.

The chief minister said that a sum of Rs.93 billion had been allocated for development of south Punjab and all educational facilities would be provided in government schools of this region during this year. He said potable water was essential for saving the people from diseases and a sum of Rs12.5 billion had been allocated for the purpose.

Federal Minister of State Aminul Hasnat, provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Tanveer Aslam Malik, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, the chief secretary, inspector general police Punjab, chairman Planning & Development, secretaries of various departments and administrative and police officers of Sargodha division were also present.

(Courtesy: The News)