National electrcity plan being devised to faciliate consumers: Awais Leghari

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 6 (APP):Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari Wednesday said that national electricity plan was being devised to facilitate the consumers to select the company of their own choice to get electricity.
Speaking on a session ‘Pakistan’s energy future: Governance and Transformation’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), the 2nd day of the 20th Annual Sustainable Development Conference (SDC), the minister said the government would make sure that the plan did not get catch in supply-demand trap.
He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could play a role in developing water reservoir based on energy projects, which would prove most beneficial in terms of economic returns.
Speaking on the occasion, CEO of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Muhammad Raziuddin, said after 18th amendment, governance in the province was improved.
He said National Electric Power Regulatory (NEPRA) act needed to be restructured and approved for transparency and responsiveness.
He said there are maximum reserves of crude oil in KPK and oil exploration was being carried out in the province Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, Rana Afzal stressed the need for communicating the importance of paying tax to the private sector and members of the wider public. He also called for conducting dialogue and build consensus on a charter of economy to curtail the influence of politics in fiscal policy.
Ehsan Malik, CEO of the Pakistan Business Council, stressed the need for establishing an independent tax commission at the federal level to formulate national tax policy. He recommended robust private sector representation on this forum.
Adnan Jalilof Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry called for establishment of an inter-governmental tax harmonization commission to curb jurisdiction issues and the incidence of double taxation and increased compliance costs on businesses.
Speaking at a session on ‘Sustainable Development Goals and Leaving No One Behind’, Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Ms MarviMemon said that this year BISP was launching a plan for the vulnerable groups of the community. BISP was working on both socio-economic and democratic fronts and had received international democracy award, she said.
She said BISP has done its job well and reached to districts like Musa-Khel and Dera Bugti.
Ms Amina Khan from Overseas Development Institute, Dr Shehryar Toru from SDPI and Ali Khizar from Business Recorder focused on ethnicity, exclusion of the youth from society, malnourishment and food security.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri said that BISP should float a programme with food security as its major part. He recommended that social safety net programmes should be consolidated under one umbrella and BISP should be made headquarter.
Speaking at a session on ‘Migration, water management and climate change in glacial river basin and semi-arid regions in Pakistan: Key linkages and policy options’ former Wapda Chairman ShamsulMulk said institutions, as opposed to individuals, were key to resolving issues related to water management.
Speaking at a session on ‘Information and Telecommunications Journey in Pakistan: Future Directions’ PTA former Chairman Dr Ismail Shah said, “Without a comprehensive approach and rationalization of taxation on information and communication technologies, any progress in this vital sector is unthinkable. Pakistan’s ICTs are highly taxed which is hampering its growth.
Dr Manzoor Ahmad, President of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy, said that since the launch of 3G/4G technologies in 2014, the number of internet users has increased to 48 million which is about 27 per cent of population, but Pakistan is still a long way in matching up with Asian average of 45.6 percent.
Naveedul Haq, Regional Development Manager, Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau, Internet Society, highlighted the importance of Internet in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Internet is the new success mantra of social and economic change creating a new wave of innovation and development, he added.