LAHORE - Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah has maintained that the nation would continue to face the menace of load-shedding till December 2010 although the best of efforts are afoot to overcome the shortage. However, as the loadshedding hours continues do soar, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf reiterated governments resolve to end load-shedding by end of this year. Khurshid Shah was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. LCCI President Mian Muzaffar Ali, Senior Vice-President Tahir Javaid Malik, Vice-President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Provincial Minister for Revenue Haji Mohammad Ishaq and Provincial Minister for Labour Mohammad Ashraf Sohna also spoke on the occasion. The Minister said that all options including wind and coal are being considered to cope with shortage of electricity. Khurshid Shah said the government was quite conscious of the problems being faced by the industry due to shortage of electricity, which is a major raw material for a number of industrial sectors. He also made it clear that the present government was well on way to modify all out-dated industry-related laws, and in this regard the process on consultation with all the stakeholders is very much on. He said the new laws would be free of any complexities. He, however, urged the LCCI to put forward its suggestions and proposals for Industrial Relations Act 2010, which is in the process of formulation. According to him, the government wants such new laws, which are acceptable to both the employers and employees. Syed Khurshid Shah, who spent well over two hours in the LCCI, said the government wants to facilitate industrial workers at every cost. We want to facilitate them. We want proper care of their children health. We want to educate them and for the purpose all available resources would be utilised. He also revealed that his ministry has finalised a proposal to construct 40,000 new houses for industrial workers of Punjab, to be given to them on ownership bases. Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Muzaffar Ali said that today, when the entire business and the industry is suffering from crises, increase in mark up rates, rupee/dollar disparity, high cost of inputs etc, the threatening labour inspections and policy are adding fuel to fire. He said a peaceful industrial relation system is actually needed at this moment. Mian Muzaffar said the LCCI has already sent proposals for formulation of Labour Policy 2009 to the Ministry of Labour and Manpower wherein it has suggested: the policy should be employment oriented; labour laws and procedures must be very simple; there should be effective utilisation of welfare funds collected from employers, social security and old age contribution through one window operation and management by tripartite boards headed by the employers. About industrial inspections, he suggested to the minister that the inspections must not be outsourced as this would lead to corruption and financial burden on government exchequer or the end users. The LCCI Senior Vice-President Tahir Javaid Malik urged the federal minister to help abolish 25pc quota of employment and the duration of CBA must be extended to three years. APP adds: Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf reiterated governments resolve to end loadshedding by the end of this year. Addressing a function at IESCO headquarters here Thursday, he said the country is currently facing a shortfall of 3,000 to 3500 MW and added that several power projects are underway to meet this gap by December. He said the govt inherited the energy crisis from the previous regime but is making all-out efforts to end the consumers woes. He said besides traditional, unconventional sources are also being explored including windmills to meet the rising demand of electricity. He said several water projects have also been launched while more will be initiated in the future to end the water and loadshedding crises once and for all. Later, Chief Executive Officer IESCO Raja Abdul Ghafoor apprised the Minister of the performance of his company.