ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani chairing a high-level meeting attended by chief ministers of all the four provinces, prime minister of AJK and chief executive of Northern Areas (NAs), emphasised the need to observe austerity and economy in official and personal lives. The Prime Minister said that everybody must do it practically by shunning spendthrift lifestyle, practising austerity and taking full cognisance of the overwhelming poverty that had afflicted the country. He constituted a committee headed by the Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, comprising of representatives from the four provinces, AJK and NAs, to review and introduce the austerity measures in the federal, provincial, AJK and NAs and submit its report within two weeks. The meeting decided that the capacity building requirements of the four provinces, AJK and NAs should be considered by the Ministry of Interior on the priority basis and comprehensive proposals should be made in consultation with the Ministry of Finance within thirty days for consideration of the federal cabinet. The Cabinet Committee on Energy Crisis gave a briefing on the steps taken to overcome the energy crisis in the country. The Prime Minister directed to hold a joint meeting of the Finance Ministry and the Committee on August 4, 2009 in order to expedite the process of co-generation for enhanced power production. He also directed to explore the alternative energy resources and work out ways to commence production of the closed IPPs. The Prime Minister said that the country was passing through the most critical phase of its existence, as it was one of the centre stages of a complex and strategic region faced with international challenges. Global security concerns and financial meltdown affected the countrys internal security and domestic economy seriously, he said. The democratic government soon after coming into power took the internal and external challenges head-on. However, he said, steadily, slowly and surely the government in the last one and half years had initiated steps that were taking the country out of difficulties it inherited. While highlighting successes in some areas, the Prime Minister said that the government developed national consensus on major issues and earned full support of the political leadership and the people at large. The Prime Minister said that peace and security were critical for socio-economic development. The present government inherited a serious law & order crisis particularly in Swat, Malakand and other parts of the country, he said. Terrorist attacks, bomb blasts and suicide attacks were the order of the day. He said due to stringent measures and well thought out policies, which the present government had undertaken, the law and order situation and economy had now started improving. The Prime Minister said that the government had launched a crash programme for new power generation to overcome the energy crisis and hoped that the country would soon get rid of this menace. He also mentioned the issue of large circular debt that the government inherited and henceforth committee of cabinet was constituted to monitor the power situation on daily basis. He expressed the hope that with the improvements in oil and gas supplies, the situation would further improve. He also directed the relevant ministries to do whatever was necessary to keep the existing power generation capacity running. He further directed the ministry of water and power to ensure commissioning of new power projects as per the schedule. The Prime Minister said that the success of Swat operation had a direct bearing on law & order situation in the country, as there was a sharp decline in the suicide attacks, bomb blasts and terrorist activities. He however, mentioned that the most challenging task before the government was the Balochistan situation where militant organisations continued their subversive and terrorist activities. He said the government was utilising all of its resources to remove the grievances of the Baloch people. The Balochistan problem needed to be resolved through political means, which were vital in that context, he observed. He urged the participants to use their good offices and support the federal government to control the situation in Balochistan. The meeting was given a comprehensive briefing on the law and order situation in the four provinces, AJ&K and the NAs by the respective chief secretaries and inspector generals of police. The meeting on austerity drive and law and order was convened at the PM Secretariat here Friday to take stock of some of the major challenges confronted by the country. The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Industries Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Federal Minister for Privatisation Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Zaheerudin Babar Awan, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, Home Minister Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, Home Minister Balochistan Mir Zafarullah Zehri, federal secretaries, chief secretaries and IGs of all the four provinces and AJ&K, and other senior government officials. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif also held a separate meeting with the Prime Minister.