LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Tuesday presided over a joint meeting of representatives of Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture which condemned the unjustified behaviour regarding load shedding of electricity and gas towards Punjab and termed it contrary to the spirit of federation. Provincial ministers, MNAs, MPAs, energy experts and prominent personalities from other sectors were present. The meeting took important decisions for adopting a unanimous strategy against unjustified load-shedding and launching new projects of energy. Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that the CCI should install 50MW units for generation of energy from coal, the Punjab government would not only provide every possible facility but also collaborate in these projects. While constituting a representative committee comprising personalities from agriculture, industry, labour and trade sectors, he said that this committee would meet on Friday in which unanimous strategy would be evolved regarding elimination of discriminatory behaviour to Punjab regarding electricity and gas load-shedding. He said that a policy would be evolved for generation of solar energy and energy from coal, biogas and other sources and under a transparent policy, these projects would be speedily implemented so that energy resources could be made available to Punjab. He said that depending upon federal government for the provision of energy was tantamount to self cheating as federal government has disappointed the nation with its behaviour. He said that we would have to set up joint energy projects for the promotion of industrial, trade, agriculture and other sectors. He said that during the recent energy conference, it was decided that there would be equal load-shedding throughout the country but lamented on their non-implementation. He said that the energy crisis was ruining the economy of Punjab as it had to bear a loss of Rs.300b every year. He said that those who looted the national resources mercilessly in the past are giving suggestions that the provinces should share in the abolishment of circular debt. He said that for the abolishment of circular debt, the corrupt rulers should bring the looted money and the loans waived off on political grounds, back and stop corruption, loot and plunder and utilize Rs70b of Benazir Income Support Programme for this purpose then Punjab would also contribute its share and also ask other province to do so. The CM said that according to the decision of first energy conference, the traders of Punjab had proved to be true and patriotic Pakistani by timely closing their shops and business but on the other hand, the federal government did not honour its promises made in the energy conference which is very lamentable. He said that Punjab’s economy was being ruined due to shortage of electricity, thousands of people were becoming jobless and industries were being shifted to other parts of the country. He said that worst ever load-shedding was being made in Punjab due to which the real motives of federal government against the province were exposed. He said that there was a limit of tolerance and we could not see ruination of Punjab’s industry. “Ruining of Punjab’s economy is actually loss of national economy,” said the CM. He said that we left our Rs11 billion share in the NFC award for the sake of national solidarity and the sacrifice made by Punjab in the approval of NFC Award was appreciated by all but if now there is any problem of shortage of electricity we should also face it together.“Had the rulers made sincere efforts for generation of energy from coal and bagasse instead of filling their pockets from the projects of rental power stations, thousands mega watts of electricity would have been generated from these sources,” added the CM. He said that it was our national, political and religious obligation to bring the country out of crisis and quagmire of problems and put it on the road to progress through hard work and honesty. Earlier, industrialists, traders, farmers and people associated with other sectors while condemning the unjustified behaviour regarding electricity and load-shedding with Punjab, said that the load shedding of long durations was a conspiracy against the people and the industries of Punjab are being ruined deliberately. They said that Punjab CM had presented their case comprehensively and hoped that he would also continue to play his due role for the protection of rights of the people of the province in future as well. President Anjuman-e-Tajiran Multan Khawaja Shafiq said that in the entire traders’ community is with Punjab Chief Minister and it will stand with him in his decision for the elimination of long duration load shedding. Traders’ representative Hamid Ali said that it is the time to save Pakistan through Punjab. Mian Mannan said that long load shedding has ruined their business and industry, the factories are at the verge of bankruptcy and we will have to come out for our rights. Representative of Cotton Ginners Association Mukhar Ahmed Khan Baloch said that the people of Punjab were being punished for their affection with Mian Nawaz Sharif and Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Khurram Dastagir Khan and Pervaiz Malik also spoke on the occasion.