QUETTA - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said the government will meet the electricity shortage in the country within two and a half years' time.He expressed these views on Friday while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 404MW Uch Power Project-II in Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan. The premier said the government would fulfill the electricity shortage in the country within two and a half years.Talking about Uch-II Power Project, Nawaz Sharif said it would help reduce the import bill burden. He said long-term energy projects would be initiated soon. He observed the future of the country was bright. He also thanked the foreign companies investing in Pakistan’s energy sector.The prime minister said the power project was significant as it would be based on indigenous gas by substituting expensive liquid fuel, saving foreign exchange. In addition, it had been set up in Balochistan, he added.He commended the contribution of GDF Suez for successful commissioning of the project which was a valuable addition to the national grid. He said GDF Suez had been a reliable energy partner for Pakistan for many years and was also playing its role in the socio economic development of the province. He invited the French company to undertake more investment in Pakistan’s energy projects.He underlined the need for carrying forward all institutions together for the country’s prosperity. The PM said: “Our installed capacity today stands at approximately 23,000MW of which 13,000 is commissioned,” adding little time was required to bridge the gap. He further said the country was facing an acute shortage of power and the government was committed to resolving the issue.Nawaz Sharif said the electricity shortfall in the system had a very negative impact on the development of the country. He said new power projects were being constructed by using conventional and renewable energy resources and technologies.Moreover, development of Thar Coal and Jhimpir projects in Sindh and solar projects in Punjab were also prominent steps to overcome the power crisis, he said.Nawaz announced that the government would ensure provision of natural gas to each and every city of Balochistan within three years. The prime minister directed Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to personally monitor this project and ensure its completion on time.The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to install new transmission lines for Nasirabad and Sibi. He said Balochistan was neglected in the past, but his government would take necessary steps to mitigate the sense of deprivation of people of the province. He said the present government was committed to bringing socio-economic prosperity in Balochistan.He revealed his government had planned a big development programme for Balochistan and its people.Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Uch Power Project, Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said it would contribute to overcoming the energy crisis and trigger further foreign investment in Balochistan. He said the project would not only help in curtailing the present power shortages but also provide cheap electricity to the consumers and save precious foreign exchange in oil imports.Earlier, Nawaz Sharif was received by Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik when he reached Dera Mura Jamali. Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and Senior Provincial Minister Sanaullah Zehri were also present.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 26-Apr-2014 here.