LAHORE -

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday vowed to take effective measures to utilise available resources to rid the country of crippling energy crisis, badly affecting economy and social life.

He was presiding over a meeting on energy situation here at State Guest House where he was given a detailed briefing on the energy situation in the country. A plan regarding reduction in loadshedding duration on monthly basis was also presented to the Prime Minister. “I have to put in place such initiatives that keep industrial wheel and the fan of everyone’s home on the move,” said Nawaz.

The energy sector is one of the major priorities of the PML-N government which would take all stakeholders on board to overcome the shortage, he maintained.

Nawaz ordered the conversion of all power generation plants to coal to end loadshedding and ensure provision of cheap electricity.

It was decided to remove the head of Wapda, PEPCO MD and heads of distribution companies and appoint capable officers at their places to implement the orders on immediate basis.

The meeting also decided to take stringent steps to recover dues from defaulters and end power theft with the help of provincial governments, if necessary.

The meeting agreed to ensure recovery of dues from all the federal and provincial government departments and other institutions. The government has planned to retire gradually the power sector’s huge circular debt to streamline the electricity generation chain that would bring the loadshedding under control.

Nawaz directed the authorities concerned to determine the viability of all the electricity projects besides, estimating and evaluating the financial requirements for their implementation.

The prime minister also stressed the need for expediting work on the projects to ensure electricity generation at a low cost.

He called for getting rid of incompetent officials as well as useless machines to put the country on road to speedy development for bringing Pakistan at par with the developed nations.

Nawaz also directed for taking stringent measures for stopping electricity pilferage.

The newly-elected Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Ishaq Dar, MNAs Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, MPA Rana Muhammad Afzal, former caretaker federal minister Dr Musadiq Malik, Shaukat Tareen, Salman Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Muhammad Mansha, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and energy experts also attended the meeting.

Earlier, in an interview with a private TV channel, senior PML-N leader Ishaq Dar said that his party was fully committed to tackle all the challenges like economic crisis, power loadshedding and war on terrorism in the country.

He said the PML-N economic team had fully prepared with pragmatic strategy to cope with all the challenges, which the country was facing today.

The PML-N leader said that his government would ensure transparency in official matters to maintain accountability in institutions.

Ishaq Dar said the PML-N government would exercise the political will for resolution of all internal and external issues with the consensus of all political stakeholders.

Ishaq Dar was of the view that smooth transition of democratic process was considered the hallmark in country’s history.

Replying to a question, he said his party leadership had evolved the national consensus on the national economy and foreign policy issues to execute the party vision in larger national interest.

Senator Ishaq Dar said that smooth democratic transition had portrayed the soft image of Pakistan to international community. He added that Pakistan will emerge as economic player in region and at global level, which also ensure our national dignity.