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CCI approves 'consensus' national power policy

01 August, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Wednesday approved the National Power Policy with consensus of all the provinces.

Chairing a meeting of the CCI, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said it was the policy of his government to arrive at a consensus decision, a fact which was evident from the approval of the current power policy.

"We respect the mandate of all the provincial governments and will support them in their endeavours for the welfare of the people," he added. The prime minister said the country was passing through a critical phase and demanded greater unity and discipline among all.

He congratulated the CCI members for the consensus approval of the power policy. The CCI meeting was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch.

Talking about the no-confidence motion in the AJK Legislative Assembly, the prime minister said, "We have to set principles of governance in the country." "The no-confidence motion in Azad Jammu and Kashmir was not supported by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz due to our principled stand for stabilising the provincial governments," he added. The prime minister stressed on the need of learning from each other's experiences and expertise. Each province should share its success with other provinces so that it could be replicated.

"We can overcome our shortcomings and improve our governance through sharing and working closely with each other", added the Premier. The report of technical committee on power policy was also presented before the CCI, which unanimously approved the National Power Policy with few additions.

The committee report incorporated the Sindh government's demand for developing coal and wind corridors with the facilitation of the federal government. The technical committee also proposed Integrated Utility Courts for dealing with electricity and gas thefts and rationalising the penalties for such crimes in the light of principles of jurisprudence. Both the proposals were approved by the CCI and made part of the National Power Policy.

The meeting also discussed the transmission and distribution difficulties faced by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The prime minister assured that the federal government was ready to provide adequate funding and assistance for effective distribution of electricity to these provinces. The meeting also discussed energy efficiency and conservation measures. Nawas said that conservation of energy needed homogeneous implementation by all provinces so that steps taken to conserve energy had a balanced effect on the entire country.

While mentioning the vast potential for hydropower production in his province, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister said huge investment opportunities were available in the province and his government had already started two run-of-the-river projects in Kohistan District. He asked for the federal government's assistance to further explore such opportunities.

Prime Minister Nawaz assured him of the fullest support of the federal government and asked him for identification of more such projects for optimum utilisation of the water resources. The Sindh chief minister said that wind resource in the coastal region of the province needed to be explored to provide cheap electricity, which would suffice the energy needs of the province.

Prime Minister Nawaz said the challenges being faced by the country demand that we should cooperate with each other. He said that this is no time to degrade each other. Meanwhile, the Balochistan chief minister stressed upon the need for provision of electricity to his province from Uch-2 Project to cater to its power needs. Among others, Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi, Minister for Overseas Pakistani and HRD Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadi Baloch, Minister for SAFRON and Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf attended the meeting.

End.

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