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Load shedding to end by 2018: Nawaz Sharif

03 March, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif claimed on Wednesday that the government would overcome the problem of load shedding by the end of its tenure in 2018.

Nawaz Sharif reiterated his government’s resolve to complete the Neelum-Jhelum and many other energy related projects during his term in office to rid the country of power outages. He was chairing a meeting to review the progress on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project at the PM House. The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on various aspects of the project. He asked Ministry of Water and Power secretary to submit a bi-weekly report on the status of the project to the PM office and directed that all those who are related to the project management of Neelum-Jhelum must shift to the project site for effective supervision and speedy work to complete it on time.

The prime minister said achieving economic stability was directly connected with uninterrupted power supply to the industrial sector of the country and said timely completion of the energy projects in this regard was necessary. “Our efforts in the shape of power projects in diverse sources of energy reflect our determination to overcome the issue of power shortage in Pakistan,” the prime minister said, adding that the Neelum-Jhelum was a sick project requiring urgent attention when his government came into power. The project was facing a huge liability of Rs 20 billion, while there were no plans for the transmission lines to link the project to the national grid.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Prime Minister’s Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad and senior government officials. Separately, Nawaz Sharif said his government has successfully overcome multiple challenges enabling the country to march towards ensuring sustainable economic and social development. He was talking to Under Secretary General, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Dr Shamshad Akhtar at the PM House. “Our government has pulled the country out of numerous crises and today Pakistan is viewed an altogether different country from what it was few years ago,” the prime minister said.

Acknowledging the role of UN in helping the Pakistani government in achieving sustainable socio-economic development objectives, the premier extended his appreciation that a Pakistani woman has reached such a high and prestigious level at UNESCAP. While highlighting the role of economic prosperity in national development the prime minister said improved law and order situation has boosted the confidence of local and foreign investors to invest in Pakistan.

“We are focused on social sector reforms and the recent major initiatives of our government in health and education sectors would certainly benefit people in general and the poor and vulnerable in particular.” He said the government has achieved the highest foreign reserves of its history, contained inflation and undertook mega energy projects to address the issue of energy crisis faced by the county. Dr Shamshad Akhtar appreciated the leadership role of the prime minister and mentioned his initiation of huge infrastructure projects that will ensure better regional connectivity and socio-economic development for the entire region.

The under secretary general said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will usher in an era of economic prosperity not only for Pakistan but the region. Dr Shamshad said the unprecedented infrastructure and energy projects speak of the leadership role of the prime minister. “Wherever I go, whether it is Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or any other country in the region; they all appreciate your regional leadership role,” Dr Shamshad said and pointed out that projects like TAPI and CPEC were of paramount regional importance and would improve the standard of living for millions in this part of the world.

Also, veteran journalist and anchorperson Mushtaq Minhas, who joined the PML-N AJK on Tuesday, called on Prime Minister Nawaz. The prime minister, while welcoming Minhas’ joining of PML-N, expressed the confidence that his inclusion in the party would help further strengthen and activate it in District Bagh. Minhas assured the prime minister that he will utilise all his energies to mobilise the party not only in District Bagh but whole of Azad Kashmir.

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