PESHAWAR -  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Monday presided over a meeting of the board of directors of the Energy and Power Development Fund, which approved transfer of Rs15 billion to the fund.

It was also decided that 76 megawatts of electricity to be produced by Daral Khwar and Machai hydropower projects by June-July would be provided for industrial consumption at cheaper rates to accelerate industrial growth.

The meeting decided that electricity produced by the projects could be extended to Kheshgi and Warsak irrigation systems, as electricity bills of both systems ran into millions of rupees. The meeting also decided that Economic Zones Development and Management Company (EZDMC) would take care of the surplus electricity to be produced in the province from different hydropower projects, including selling it out to prospective buyers.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Muhammad Atif Khan and Muzaffar Said, administrative secretaries and members of the board of Energy and Power Development Fund.

The meeting debated previous decisions of the board and approved its minutes. The meeting also cleared Rs1 billion for solarisation of 1,000 mosques.

The chief minister on the occasion directed the concerned quarters to keep him aware of any emergency or emergence of abnormality at the site and infrastructure of natural gas wells at Karak. He emphasised that elders of the area and other stakeholders should be taken on board. He assured that he would take up issues and concerns of the locals with the federal government. The federal government, he added, should initiate provision of natural gas to areas falling in the radius of five kilometres.

The meeting agreed to allow excavation in Lucky block having oil potential. The meeting okayed seismic and geological survey of the Lucky block and stressed for a focused approach to get tangible results and visible performance. The project would cost Rs5 billion for which an initial amount was approved by the board.

The meeting noted that different projects in oil and gas sector would increase royalty of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and strengthen resource base of the province that could be spent on public welfare.

The board also agreed to prepare PC-1 for estimation and excavation in Mughal Kot and Mattani areas where gas seepage has been reported, indicating potential of natural gas there. A formal decision would be taken in this regard after the feasibility report.

Pervez Khattak agreed to direct further resources to the hydropower fund in next fiscal year, asking the participants to explore different avenues for raising funds for the purpose.

The chief minister ordered resource generation to fund different schemes in the annual development programme. He agreed to provide Rs2 billion for Billion Tree Tsunami Project in order to escalate the ongoing tree plantation drive in the province. He said his government had a people-friendly agenda that required resources and energy, adding that he would never compromise his agenda for change and simultaneously would go ahead with development strategy for areas, which lagged behind in the development race. He said it was his responsibility to ensure distribution of resources judiciously and also ensure that benefits of such measures reach the people.

Khattak said he valued time and resources, adding that efficient resources at the right time and proper investment at right place and area were key elements to ensure maximum fruits for the province and the people. KP has a lot of resources and investors are keen to invest in the province for maximum return. In the given circumstances, KP is fast becoming an all time right destination for the investors, he said.

The chief minister said that he would take care of the hydropower projects to generate maximum electricity for onward transmission to industries. He counted a number of agreements signed with different countries, especially China, for run-of-the-river and other hydropower projects.

He was particular about oil and gas production advantages for the province where he expected a sizable investment in the near future. He talked about the incentives his government offered to potential investors. He said his government discarded the practice of making political statements. The KP government is committed to securing a bright future for the province, he said. He recounted interactions with foreign investors wherein he was assured of investment in different sectors of the province.