LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that energy crisis is the result of plundering of national wealth by the corrupt rulers.

Presiding over a meeting of Energy Implementation Committee here on Sunday, he said there was a need for steps to be taken on emergent basis for overcoming the problem of electricity shortage but the non-serious attitude of the federal government is increasing this problem. 

He said that non-implementation of the decision of equal loadshedding throughout the country taken in the energy conference was lamentable. He warned that the injustice being meted out to Punjab regarding loadshedding will not be tolerated.

He urged that equal loadshedding throughout the country and other decisions of the energy conference should be completely implemented.

He disclosed that a joint meeting of chambers of commerce & industries, trade and agriculture has been convened on Tuesday (tomorrow) in which traders, industrialists and elected representatives of districts affected by loadshedding will also attend the meeting.

Members National Assembly Khurram Dastagir Khan, Pervaiz Malik, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board, Secretary Energy, Vice President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and other concerned officers also attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the implementation on the decisions of energy conference and expressed its concern over non-implementation of decision of energy conference regarding equal loadshedding throughout the country.  He was of the view that energy crisis has not only caused an irreparable loss to the country’s economy but also made the life of the masses miserable.

He said had an appropriate strategy been evolved for overcoming the energy crises, the country would not have been plunged into darkness today.

He said that due to long outages, industries had halted in Punjab and hundreds of thousands of labourers have become jobless and the people are protesting over it. The Chief Minister said that it was decided in the energy conference that there would be equal loadshedding of electricity throughout the country but this decision is not being implemented.

He said that there was a need for moving forward swiftly for overcoming the energy crisis. He said that besides short terms, there is also a need of long term planning for this purpose.

Shahbaz said that Punjab was a big province of Pakistan and it also contributed an overwhelming share in GDP. He said if the economy of Punjab is affected due to unequal loadshedding, then, in fact, it is tantamount to causing a loss to the country’s economy.  Therefore, he stated that the injustice with regard to loadshedding being meted out to Punjab should be stopped immediately.  He said that there was a need of paying attention to the projects of generating energy through cheap sources instead of costly sources.

Projects of generating energy through coal, hydel, solar, bagasse and other sources should be started speedily, he added.   He said that Punjab govt is also working on the projects of generating energy through alternative sources.  The CM said that a policy had also been evolved in consultation with sugar mills owners for generating energy through bagasse.  He directed Secretary Energy to prepare a joint presentation regarding mines and energy within three days and the programme of provision of subsidy on solar tube-wells should also be implemented speedily for facilitating the farmers.

He said that the outstanding electricity dues against Punjab will be paid as per promise within one and a half months.

Earlier, Secretary Energy Jehanzeb Khan informed about the pace of implementation on the decisions of energy conference.