WB delegation, CM discuss cooperation in energy, health sectors

Aug 26, 2013| Courtesy by : Daily Times

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that government was working under a comprehensive plan for resolving energy crisis and other problems being faced by the country.

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He said efforts were being made expeditiously for overcoming shortage of energy. He was talking to a delegation led by Vice President of World Bank Philippe Le Houerou that met him in Islamabad on Friday.

He said initial work had been started for setting up Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Cholistan area of south Punjab and approval had been given for establishment of an autonomous company in this regard.

He said measures were being taken for generation of electricity from hydal, thermal as well as alternative resources. The chief minister said load-shedding had been reduced substantially after repayment of circular debt of Rs 480 billion in energy sector.

He said stern action was being taken against the elements involved in power and gas theft and a number of factory owners had also been arrested.

The chief minister stressed upon the World Bank to provide help and assistance in education, health, infrastructure especially energy sector and cooperate with the government in construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam for generation of hydle power.

Vice President of World Bank Isabel M. Guerriro, Country Director Rashid Bin Masood, Operations Advisor Reynold Duncan, other officials of the World Bank as well as Provincial Energy Minister Ch. Sher Ali Khan, Chairman Planning and Development Irfan Elahi, Secretary Finance Jehanzeb Khan, Secretary Energy Usman Bajwa, Secretary Health Hassan Iqbal and Secretary Irrigation Zahid Saeed were also present on the occasion.

Talking to the high level World Bank delegation, the chief minister said the Punjab government had made a sincere effort to provide relief to investors, cultivators and the common man through load management of electricity and encouraging results had been witnessed.

He said a favourable atmosphere was being created for investment in the province while all-out encouragement was being extended to foreign investors.

He said that local and foreign investors had expressed keen interest in setting up solar energy projects in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Cholistan area of south Punjab.

The chief minister further said the government had made planning for generation of 2000 megawatt electricity initially at the park. He said that the target of 100 percent literacy will be achieved in Punjab within next few years. Sharif said that Punjab government was paying attention to labour intensive investment and efforts were being made for poverty alleviation through imparting vocational and technical training to youth so as to make them self-reliant.

He further said the government was also paying attention for promotion and investment in garments industry and investors will be provided all-out facilities under one-window operation for this purpose. Sharif further said that government was formulating a policy for eradication of terrorism and a favourable atmosphere will be provided for revival and development of economy through maintenance of law and order.

Vice President of World Bank Philippe Le Houerour, while speaking on the occasion, said provision of all-out cooperation and assistance of World Bank will be considered for development of energy, education, health and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan including Punjab.

(Courtesy: Daily Times)