PM announces Rs 3 cut in per unit power tariff for industries

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KARACHI, Dec 28 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Monday announced a cut of Rs 3 in per unit tariff of electricity for industrial users and urged the exporters to translate it into increased exports for the country.

Addressing the 39th Annual Export Awards Distribution Ceremony under the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), the Prime Minister assured that as things improved, more cuts would be made to help the industrial community.

The announcement got a standing ovation from a hall full of the country’s top entrepreneurs for the great relief and fulfilling of their long-standing demand.

The Prime Minister said the tariff would be applicable from January 1, 2016 and urged the business community to work harder and produce better quality goods, generate employment and earn foreign exchange for the country.

He said his government’s focus was on addressing the three main challenges of improving economy, ending power shortages and countering terrorism, inherited by it in 2013.

Nawaz Sharif mentioned the threats of extremism and terrorism and said he was committed to root out the same for good from Pakistan.

He said Pakistan, and particularly Karachi, were much better and safer than what they were three or six years back.

He assured that the operation in Karachi would continue and congratulated Director General Rangers, Inspector General of Police Sindh and Chief Secretary Sindh for their success in bringing peace to the port city.

He said in September 2013, he stayed in Karachi for two days and met all political, business and influential people, and stakeholders, who they all agreed on conducting an operation to rid the city of extremists, terrorists and law-breakers.

He said today the change was significant as foreign businessmen were now coming to the city and interacting with local counterparts and hoped that in the days ahead, Karachi would be vibrant and serve as the country’s economic hub.

The Prime Minister said the government was working on short, medium and long term projects to make the country self-sufficient in power generation.

He said the country used to witness 12-18 hours of loadshedding, but today it was considerably less and things were improving gradually.

The Prime Minister said his government was also trying to make electricity cheap and lower cost of production so as to make these more competitive and help end unemployment.

He said the issue of loadshedding was being addressed at multiple levels.

He recalled his visit to the Port Qasim coal-fired power generation plant and directed that it be completed by 2017.

He said in financial years 2017-18, 10,000 MW more electricity would be added to the system and another 15,000 MW by the year 2025.

He said the coal from Thar would be used to generate 3600 MW electricity.

He also referred to setting up of other power plants that were being installed at 40 per cent lesser cost, saving Rs 100 billion to the national exchequer.

He also mentioned the construction of Diamir Bhasha project that would generate 4500 MW, Dasu Dam, besides the nuclear power plants of K2 and K3, Neelum Jhelum and the fourth Tarbella Expansion project that would make the country self-sufficient.