Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday said incumbent government is committed to eliminate load shedding which will be achieved during the tenure of this government.

“Priority of the government is to tap Thar Coal resources for efficient and cheap energy production in the next 2-3 years,” said Prime Minister, addressing ‘Cabinet Committee on Energy’. The meeting also took other important decisions as Prime Minister also rejected the proposal to enhance the gas prices.

PM also directed the Ministry of Petroleum to submit a comprehensive presentation on the availability of gas to different segments of consumers including domestic, commercial, industrial as fertilizer. He also made commitment that it will be ensured that line losses and power theft are brought down to the minimum. The Committee was briefed about various long term projects which would be completed by 2016-17 including coal, LNG, solar and wind based generation projects.

The Cabinet committee was informed that in the shorter run 300 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid before the summer of 2015 through provision of LNG to Kapco. Similarly 1400 MW of costly electricity being produced through furnace oil will be replaced by LNG. It was also briefed that additional 1000 MW will be added to the national grid before summer 2015 through on-site raw gas plants.

The Prime Minister, in an important decision, approved the policy to provide locally produced gas to the power sector to make it more affordable and efficient. Similarly, he approved that any surplus LNG gas will be provided to the CNG sector.

The meeting was also briefed that this roadmap presented to the Prime Minister will progressively reduce load shedding, while contributing towards reducing circular debt and proving the efficiency of power plants.

The Prime Minister directed that a comprehensive energy conservation and management plan of electricity and gas sector may be presented in the next Cabinet Committee meeting.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s spokesman Dr Musadik Malik said this government before completion of its tenure will completely control load shedding issue. “Children have to consult dictionary to know about the meaning of word load shedding, as incumbent government will control this issue in its tenure,” said PM’s spokesman, addressing a press conference, at PM House.

Malik briefed that the energy problem will be overcome in three categories including short term, medium term and long term.  In short term strategy, he said, with the help of gas, solar power, air and watermill it will be controlled. In medium term strategy, he said imported coal will be used for this purpose. “The long term strategy is most important as Thar reserves, water resources will be utilised to get rid of this menace,” he added. “Fortnightly meeting of ministers will be held till overcoming the crisis,” he said adding that additional 1300 megawatts will be included in the system in next six to seven months. “We will be able to add 2400 megawatts before next summer,” he said giving reference of Nandipur and Gaddu.

PM spokesman said that country’s assets will be used to overcome the longstanding issues. “Thar coal will become energy capital as billions of rupees projects will be installed,” he added.

To a question about drought in Thar, he said that drought, famine, hunger and poverty would come to end by introducing such plan.  “Goodbye to poverty from our side,” he said, showing a rosy picture of the drought-hit area.

To another question about gas shortage, he put blame on previous government’s policies saying that there was a gap of supply and demand. “LNG plant would proof a world record,” he said sharing a government’s policies to overcome gas shortage in the country.

He further said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected proposal of Ogra for increase in gas price. “This is part of series of relief measures being taken by the Government as per Prime Minister’s vision to ensure means of livelihood, education and health for people of Pakistan,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minster Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday directed that decision taken by ECC regarding provision of subsidy worth Rs. 5000 per acre to the growers of Basmati rice should be properly implemented.

“The decision taken by the ECC should be properly implemented to make sure that growers are the direct beneficiaries of this subsidy,” said PM, according to press release issued from PM House.

The Prime Minister said agriculture is backbone of Pakistan’s economy and a significant contributor to the GDP. He said it is an important priority of the government to support this sector.

The farmer community has appreciated the decision, according to which 50 percent of the expenses incurred on provision of subsidy will be born by the provinces who would also be responsible to ensure transparency in its distribution.