LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is facing serious problems like the energy crisis and terrorism, and that electricity shortage and extremism have caused a huge loss to its economy.
Talking to a parliamentary group of FATA which met him on Sunday, the CM said that the aim of rapid progress of the country could not be realised without overcoming these problems, and the government was making sincere efforts for coping with such challenges and issues.
He said that in order to restore peace in the country, the government, with the consultation of all stakeholders, had given another chance to dialogue and it was hoped that this decision taken on the basis of national thinking and collective wisdom would yield positive results.
He said that the government was striving for resolving the energy crisis and its strenuous efforts would prove fruitful.
Problems being faced by Pakistan and the overall political situation of the country were discussed in the meeting.
The delegates included Members of the National Assembly Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, Sajid Hussain Toori, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Bilal Rehman, Bismillah Khan and Nasir Khan Afridi.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that solid measures were being taken for steering the country out of crises and effective economic policies were being implemented for the revival of national economy.
He said that a comprehensive strategy had also been adopted for the promotion of economic and trade activities.
He said that in order to overcome the energy shortage, agreements had been signed with several local and foreign companies for investment in the power sector, and special incentives were being offered for this purpose.
He said that work was being carried out speedily on coal-fired electricity projects. He said that Chinese companies were expressing interest in investment in coal-based energy projects, and initially, two power plants would be operated with imported coal, whereas local coal would later be used for electricity generation projects.
He said that the government was also working on the projects of generating electricity from water, thermal and other low-cost resources.
He said that in addition to setting up new power projects, the government had also taken effective measures for checking theft of electricity, and that a vigorous action had been taken against electricity and gas thieves.
He said that elements involved in pilferage of electricity and gas deserved no leniency and should be exposed at every level. Referring to the measures taken for the promotion of economic and trade activities in the province, the CM said that new industrial estates were being established in the province, while rapid progress was being made towards setting up industrial estates in Rahim Yar Khan and Khushab.
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