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.