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Pakistan to achieve energy targets in three to four years: Nawaz

14 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that Pakistan would achieve its energy targets within three to four years.

The prime minister said the country's economy had improved as compared to last year with GDP growth raised from 2.9 to 5.1 percent. "We want to take GDP rate to 7 percent in next four years," he said while talking to a group of parliamentarians from Sahiwal and Multan divisions who called on him.

He said the economy was better in 1991 during his first tenure of government and the country was at parity with the neighbouring countries and even ahead in some aspects. "But lack of decisions on important projects has led us to the situation we are facing today," he added.

The prime minister said the GSP Plus status by European Union would benefit many sectors including textiles and leather industry. He said the decision of the Asian Development Bank to invest in Jamshoro coal power plant will pave the way for investment in Gaddani coal power project. He said with these projects, Pakistan would be able to achieve its energy targets within three to four years. Nawaz said the newly launched Youth Business Loan Scheme would benefit around three million people in its first phase.

He rejected the impression that the inexperienced youth would waste the loan and said he had the belief that youth were responsible citizens and would utilise the loan in an effective and efficient manner. Nawaz Sharif said banks had been giving large loans to big industrialists. However, there was a need to trust and invest in small and medium enterprises, he added. He said that the SMEs are the backbone of the US, Japan and Germany.

He said these projects had proved that the promises made during the election campaign were being fulfilled. The issue of electricity shortage, he said, could not be resolved overnight and added that long-term and short-term plans had been made to overcome energy shortages.

On terrorism, the prime minister said the path of dialogue had been chosen according to the decision taken by the all-parties conference and expressed the hope that the dialogue would bear fruit. He said the operation in Karachi was being carried out successfully and necessary legislation had been enacted to bring the culprits before the law so that they could be held to account for their misdeeds.

The parliamentarians expressed confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and said the revolutionary steps taken by him would change the destiny of the country. They also discussed political matters relating to their constituencies. Sheikh Aftab, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Captain (r) Safdar and Hamza Shahbaz also attended the meeting.

End.

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