Shahbaz's protest over power crisis reflects public sentiments: Nawaz
18 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif on Sunday backed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's participation in protests against load shedding, saying he reflected the sentiments of the people by taking part in rallies against prolonged power outages.
"The incompetence of the government has been causing grave miseries to the nation. Shahbaz Sharif reflected the sentiments of the people by taking part in the rallies against load shedding," the PML-N chief said while chairing a meeting in Murree, a statement released to the media said.
Sharif castigated the government over the unscheduled and prolonged hours of load shedding, saying the power outages had reached 22 hours a day "due to pathetic and non-serious attitude of the government to tackle the issue". The government was unmoved despite the hardships of the people, he added.
The former prime minister said load shedding was a double-edged sword for the people as it had crippled the economy and brought hardships for them, thus depriving them of their livelihood and making their lives miserable.
He said the government could overcome the problems if it desired so as payments to power producers could resolve the issue.
Sharif said the government had blocked payments to the power generation companies to reduce the budget deficit, but the strategy had devastated the nation.
He accused the federal government of creating hurdles in the power projects of the Punjab government. "Power projects having a capacity of 900MW were being installed in the province. However, the federal government has blocked their installation for unknown reasons," he said.
Criticising the government's rental power schemes, he said corruption in the projects had eaten up billions of rupees that could have been utilised to resolve the circular debt issue being faced by the power sector. "The government is trying to shift responsibility to others to hide its failure that has aggravated the power crisis," he added.
The PML-N chief also rejected "the impression" that provinces had authority to produce power, saying "it was only on papers as sovereign guarantees required for such projects lied with the federal government".
He urged the government that outstanding dues of power generation companies should be paid immediately to address the issue.