PM seeks quick, solid steps to cut power bills

PM offers to have his room’s air-conditioner turned off in austerity measure

In emergency meeting, Kakar seeks report on free power being provided to officers as well as depts, power thefts n Says ‘We want to lessen additional burden on national exchequer and facilitate electricity consumers’ n Govt making efforts to give a fillip to industrial revolution in Balochistan.

ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has taken strong excep­tion to the provision of free elec­tricity being given to officers of various ministers and power theft and sought complete report on it in next 48 hours for reduc­tion in increased electricity bills.

The prime minister gave these directives during an import­ant meeting held here yesterday to take up the inflated monthly power bills to consumers. He was given a detailed briefing on the increase in electricity bills of July.

The prime minister said that such steps would be taken which would not put additional burden on the national exchequer and would also facilitate the consumer. 

He said that no step would be taken in haste in order to avoid harm to the country.

It was not possible that the com­mon man was in difficulty and the Prime minister and the bureau­cracy were using free electricity from their taxes, he added. 

The PM said relevant minis­tries and departments should provide details of the institu­tions and officers who were get­ting free of cost electricity.

He also said that he represent­ed the common man, adding the electricity expenditure of the Prime Minister House and Pa­kistan Secretariat should be re­duced as much as possible.

“Even switch off the air-condi­tioner of my room if this is need­ed,” he remarked. 

He further said detailed con­sultation would be held with provincial chief ministers today on steps to save electricity and on the issue of increased elec­tricity bills in July. The power distribution companies should give a roadmap for stopping electricity theft, he added.

The PM said reform plans in the electricity sector and short, me­dium and long-term plans should be presented as soon as possi­ble. Caretaker federal ministers Shamshad Akhtar, Gohar Ejaz, Murtaza Solangi, Advisor to Prime Minister Dr Waqar Masood, Sec­retary Power, Chairman NEPRA, Chairman WAPDA and other offi­cers attended the meeting.

The meeting on electricity bills would be held tomorrow again.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister, while addressing a del­egation of the Quetta Chamber of Commerce that called on him in Quetta, said that the interim government, during its short pe­riod, would make all-out efforts to spur an industrial revolution in Balochistan. He said that under the Special Investment Facilitation Council, efforts would be made so that Balochistan province could ben­efit from foreign investment.

The delegation comprising prominent members of the busi­ness community of the province also apprised the prime minis­ter of their issues, PM Office Me­dia Wing said in a press release issued here. The prime minister said that Balochistan was not only the largest province of the country owing to area, but also a very suitable area for trade due to Gwadar port.

He opined that the province should have been a hub of in­dustries due to huge mineral resources and vast agricultur­al land. During the meeting, the caretaker prime minister also assured the delegation of the resolution of their issues.

Separately, a delegation led by Sahibzada Muhammad Khan also called on Caretaker PM Kakar. The delegation felicitated the prime minister on assuming his duties and expressed good wishes.

The prime minister assured them to address the lingering issues faced by the residents of the province. Meanwhile, a del­egation of vice-chancellors of public sector universities of Ba­lochistan called on the prime minister in Quetta.

According to the PM Office Me­dia Wing, during the meeting, PM Kakar stressed upon formu­lation of planning to ensure that higher education at the univer­sity level should become a reg­ular base for the latest research and innovative achievements.

He said that graduated stu­dents should be equipped with the professional skill sets to meet the requirements of in­dustries.

The delegation apprised the prime minister of the progress over higher education and the pertaining issues.

The prime minister under­scored the need to promote a culture of research and creativ­ity as the lack of innovation was linked with the deficiency in re­search and higher education.

The caretaker prime minis­ter further asked for setting up incubation centers for the stu­dents by the industrial sector in universities, so that they could get opportunities for contempo­rary research, adding that with these measures, trained man­power would be provided to the industries, thus paving the way for an industrial revolution.

He shared that with the con­tinuous facility of higher edu­cation, the improvement could be brought in different sectors of life. The youth should be provided with ample oppor­tunities to seek higher educa­tion so that the talented young lot could play their due role in the progress of the country, he said, adding the youth and man­power were the vital assets for a better future. 

The caretaker prime minister also underlined to remove all hurdles in the pursuit of higher education by bringing it to par with international standards.

A delegation of notables of Ba­lochistan also called on Care­taker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-HaqKakar here.

During the meeting, the PM assured that issues of Kalat and other areas of Balochistan would be resolved. 

He said Pishin and Mas­toong were his eyes and Quet­ta was his heart and he would serve the people of Balochistan wholeheartedly. 

He pledged construction of a highway from Karachi to Cha­man, adding he had ordered construction of highways which were important for the prov­ince. A road tunnel would be built for Dera Ghazi Khan to en­sure supply of fruits and vege­tables from Balochistan to Pun­jab, he told. He said work on Kachhi canal would be speed up as it was not only a signifi­cant project for Balochistan but also for Pakistan.

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