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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Law and order, energy crisis govt’s top priorities: Pervez

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid here on Friday has said that resolving energy crisis and improving law and order situation in the country were the two top most priorities of the government.
Speaking at a function in connection with biomass energy project the minister said that the government is striving to exploit the vast potential of renewable energy to meet the growing energy requirements of the country. The project will be completed in four years with the cooperation of United Nations Industrial Development Organization. He said Pakistan is an agriculture country and has abundant resources of biomass‚ which could be utilized to significantly meet the requirements of industrial sector hit hard by the energy crisis. He said that the financial budget for next year would be pro poor and people friendly.
Pervez Rashid said that several wind energy projects are in the pipeline and 2500 megawatt of electricity will be generated through this source by 2015. He further said that attention is also being given to exploit the potential of solar energy.
The minister said that the present government will ensure financial discipline to achieve self reliance. He said that the country was facing shortfall of five thousand megawatt when the present government assumed the power. He further said that the government retired circular debt of about four hundred and eighty billion rupees‚ which increased the power generation to the record 17000 megawatt.
Pervez Rashid said that the government is also taking long term measures to ensure energy including coal based Gaddani power project which will add 6600 megawatt of electricity to the system. He further said that work on Neelum Jhelum hydel power project has also been expedited and this project is now expected to be completed by 2016. He said that steps have also been taken to remove inefficiency in the transmission system and a campaign is also continuing against those involved in gas and power theft.
About raise in salaries of government employees the minister said that that ninety percent of the employees serve in the provinces adding that it is the responsibility of the provinces to decide about their salaries. He said the government will consider increasing the minimum wage from next year. He said that the present government has got an empty exchequer and credit goes to the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar‚ who has ensured that the employees continue to get salaries on time.
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