PM Ashraf orders uniform load shedding across country
12 July, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday directed that equitable load shedding should be ensured throughout the country, besides taking special measures regarding load shedding in the month of Ramazan.
The cabinet also decided that there would be no load shedding at the time of taraveeh, sehar and iftar.
Ministry of Water and Power would set up an interactive website where public could register their complaints if there was unscheduled load shedding during the specified timings, the cabinet was informed. The complaints would be redressed immediately, said the ministry's officials.
The water and power secretary updated the cabinet on the energy situation in the country. He said that due to the steps taken by the government on the directions of the prime minister during the last one month, production of electricity had increased to 13,650MW, bringing down the shortfall to 3,500MW.
He said that with the commissioning of new projects, approximately another 2,000MW of electricity would soon be added to the national grid. The cabinet also approved a relief package for the month of Ramazan, amounting to Rs 2.5 billion. The subsidy on food items would be extended to the common people through 5,700 Utility Stores in Pakistan, the cabinet was told.
The cabinet in principle approved to increase the number of seats reserved for non-Muslims in assemblies proportionate to their population. Briefing the media after the cabinet meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said, "The cabinet constituted a committee comprising law minister, interfaith harmony minister and religious affairs minister to submit a comprehensive report to the cabinet for bringing in a constitutional amendment in this respect."
He said the seats would be increased in the provincial assemblies in proportion to the population of non-Muslims. The minister said it was a long-time desire of non-Muslims to increase their seats.
Speaking about the relief package regarding Ramazan, he expressed hope the package would provide relief to low-income groups at their doorsteps in the remote and far-flung areas of the country.
Kaira said the prime minister had also directed the Ministry of Industries to open Utility Stores in FATA before the Ramazan started.
The prime minister informed the cabinet that he had, through the attorney general, received a letter from the Supreme Court registrar asking for government's position with regard to the decision of the Supreme Court for the implementation of the NRO judgement. He directed the law minister to present the opinion of the Law and Justice Ministry.
The law minister informed the cabinet that he had received the letter on July10. The law minister also informed the cabinet that he and the law secretary had recently taken the charge and needed some time for thorough study of the case to brief the cabinet and present their view in the court. The cabinet allowed the Law Ministry to do their work.
However, the prime minister directed the law minister that response should come on urgent basis.