PM calls for reforms to reduce circular debt

Shehbaz Sharif says he will personally monitor Saudi investment projects

ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday directed the relevant authorities to accelerate the process of privatisation and outsourcing of the power distribution companies (Discos).

While chairing a high-level meeting regarding power sector here, the prime minister said the assistance of private sector experts and globally accepted models should be taken to improve the management affairs of the distribution companies (DISCOs). 

He also directed to prepare and present a comprehensive plan in the next meeting to improve the power system in the country. The primeminister said reforms in the power sector would help reduce the country’s circular debt. He also vowed not to allow electricity thieves and other elements to harm the country’s treasury. In the meeting, the recommendation and measures with respect to prevent the power theft, reorganization of National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and new projects of the electricity transmission were presented. The meeting was told that Matiari-Rahim Yar Khan transmission line and Ghazi Barotha-Faisalabad line will be constructed to ensure the power transmission from Southern part of the country. The meeting was further informed that a comprehensive strategy had been evolved for the reorganization of NTDC to bring reforms in the power transmission system and to minimise the government’s circular debts. The prime minister directed to complete all the reforms’ initiatives within the stipulated time.

The meeting was attended by the federal ministers and other concerned officials.

Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he would personally monitor the Saudi investment projects and warned against any laxity due to red tape or outdated procedures. The prime minister, chairing a meeting to review the matters related to the recent high-powered Saudi delegation and Saudi investment in different sectors, thanked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for sending a high-level Saudi delegation that would usher new era of Saudi investment in Pakistan, trade partnership as well as business ties.

He lauded the relevant federal ministers, Special Investment Facilitation Council and relevant senior officers for their efforts for converting the Saudi delegation’s visit into a mutually beneficial partnership. 

The prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to engage world-class experts to execute the foreign investment projects and called for capacity building of the ministries to achieve the desired results. He asked the Board of Investment, SIFC and relevant ministries to devise a mechanism to ensure execution of the projects agreed with the Saudi delegation. He told the expected visit of a delegation of prominent Saudi businessmen to Pakistan was welcoming and that further investment opportunities would also be explored during his visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the World Economic Forum to be held in the Kingdom. He said both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed cordial brotherly ties and the Kingdom always supported Pakistan in every hour of need. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz thanked the Saudi King and Crown Prince for their keen interest in promoting cooperation and partnership with Pakistan. He reiterated his government’s resolve to take all possible measures aimed at the country’s progress and prosperity. The meeting was briefed about the Saudi delegation’s interest and offer for different projects as both sides had discussed investment prospects in the fields of mining, agriculture, energy, information technology and infrastructural development. 

Both sides had also deliberated on making Pakistan part of global supply chain and value chain which was highly appreciated Pakistan’s preparedness in this regard.

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