ISLAMABAD, Apr 23 (APP): The Federal Cabinet was informed on Wednesday that in three years time there will be no load-shedding in the country. While briefing journalists in after the Cabinet meeting here, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ms Sherry Rehman said that “ Prime Minister directed Minister for Water and Power that the energy policy should be prepared keeping in view the situation on ground and submit the same to the Cabinet Urgently for approval.”
She said the Prime Minister advised that “steps be taken on war footing for the implementation of the energy policy.” The challenge of energy shortage, he said, requires a fast track approach to minimize the problems of the people. The water & Power Minister said that since the government took oath, 310 MW had already been brought into the system.
Secretary Water & Power in his briefing on energy shortage apprised the Cabinet that gap in demand and supply is increasing with the approaching summer. The minister said the Cabinet was informed that at present the country is short of about 33 per cent electricity of the total need.
This means that 8 hours load-shedding has to be distributed rationally between the industrial and domestic consumers. 7000 MW exist in the system and 5000 MW were set-up by our previous PPP government under Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed,she added.
Minister for Water & Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf specified that Prime Minister’s 100 days programme is only focused on efforts to enhance the capacity of existing power projects and secondly on conservation of electricity. One target in this context is supply of energy saver bulb up to 1 million bulbs which is progressing well.
The Minister for Water & Power further informed the Cabinet that
another major issue with regard to electricity shortage is line losses and theft.He asked for strict measures to check electricity theft and also up-gradation of the equipment to reduce line losses.
She said that on national political issues, particularly the restoration and independence of the Judiciary, a six-member committee plus the law minister as ex-officio member has been formed.
The PPP will be represented by the Leader of the House in Senate, Mian Raza Rabani, Information Minister, Sherry Rehman and Interior Advisor, Rehman Malik. Senior Minister, Ch. Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar and Minister-for Petroleum & Natural Resources Khawaja Asif will represent the PML (N).
The committee will hold meetings with members of the legal fraternity to enhance transparency and consensus to the process and will move to implement the Bhurban Resolution as committed by the party leaders, Senator Asif Ali Zardari and Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, she told the media.
She said that the Cabinet was informed the government has managed to form consensus among coalition provincial governments in all four provinces and the centre which is a great and unprecedented achievement.
“Dialogue is ongoing with various political parties as a regular process for building consensus on national and provincial issues. For healing Balochistan’s grievances, an APC has been called. For bridging old political divides in Sindh, dialogue between the MQM and PPP is ongoing”, she said.
In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister said that Cabinet meeting was to deliberate on the 100-day action plan.
Referring to the sad incidents in Lahore and Karachi, the Prime Minister
said that despite our condemnation of the incidents of manhandling of Dr. Arbab
Ghulam Rahim and Dr. Sher Afghan, widespread violence in Karachi was
unleashed.She said that the PM warned that the new democratic government will not
tolerate any conspiracy to destabilize democracy through violence.
He said that adoption of unanimous resolutions by the National and Provincial Assemblies to approach the United Nations for constituting “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Commission” to probe the national tragedy which resulted in precious loss of our beloved leader.
Sherry Rehman said that Prime Minister told the Cabinet that completion of the federal and provincial governments and the President’s recent visit to China as also the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay passing through Pakistan were some other important developments.
The Prime Minister said that during the President’s visit
to China, MOUs to extend cooperation in managing water resources
and hydel power; on cooperation in sports and culture; and
for cooperation in the area of Engineering, Sciences and
Technology were signed. A consortium of Chinese Universities
will help set up a Modem International University in Islamabad,
The Prime Minister welcomed the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch relay on its journey of harmony in a befitting manner. We shared Beijing’s enormous pride as the host of the Olympic Games.
The Prime Minister said that he will visit each and every department himself for a briefing. He said that the food security is an important issue which needs focused approach.
To increase agriculture produce particularly the wheat, the Prime
Minister said, there is a dire need to improve wheat production, procurement,
distribution, Input from all stakeholders is essential to achieve this objective.The Prime Minister also emphasized that while devising strategy to enhance agricultural produce specially wheat and edible oil, more land has to be brought under cultivation as proper land usage and additional land for cultivation could ensure self sufficiency as per our population’s need as well - as development of agro-based industry in the country.
The minister said that Secretary MINFAL in his presentation briefed the Cabinet of the wheat situation and progress on initiatives undertaken in accordance with the 100-day program announced by the Prime Minister. She said that the Cabinet was told that before this, not even a single kilogram of wheat was procured in Sindh.
The Cabinet tasked the Secretaries Committee already established under
the Finance Minister to take up the issue of wheat procurement, supply and import
and to consult all the stakeholders and suggest measures to be incorporated in the short and medium term. Procurement target was set at five million tons.
The Cabinet approved negotiation process on the MOU with South Africa for cooperation in combating illicit trafficking of narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.
The Cabinet also approved in principle to initiate negotiations on the
agreement between Pakistan and Cuba on the establishment of Pakistan-Cuba Joint
Economic Commission to enhance greater bilateral economic cooperation between the
two countries and provide a good platform to promote cooperation between the two countries in the fields of industry, food and agriculture, higher education, science and technology and other fields of mutual interest.
The Cabinet also offered Fateha for the deceased father of Rana Tanvir Hussain, Federal Minister for Defence Production.