LAHORE - Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that government is working on a comprehensive plan to resolve energy crisis and other problems facing the country.

He said that measures are being taken for generation of electricity from hydle, thermal as well as alternative resources. He said that loadshedding has been reduced substantially after repayment of circular debts to the tune of Rs 480 billion.

He said that stern action is being taken against the elements involved in power and gas theft and a number of factory owners have also been arrested. He said that relief is being provided to the people in loadshedding through load management system.

The Chief Minister stressed upon the World Bank to provide help and assistance in education, health, infrastructure especially energy sector and cooperate with the government in the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam for generation of hydle power.

He was talking to a delegation led by Vice President of World Bank Philippe Le Houerou which met him in Islamabad on Friday. Vice President of World Bank Ms. Isabel M. Guerriro, Country Director Rashid Bin Masood, Operations Advisor Reynold Duncan, other officials of the World Bank as well as Provincial Energy Minister Ch. Sher Ali Khan, other relevant officers were also present.

Talking to the high level World Bank delegation, the Chief Minister said that Punjab government has made a sincere effort to provide relief to investors, cultivators and the common man through load management of electricity and encouraging results have been witnessed. He said that a favorable atmosphere is being created for investment in the province while all-out encouragement is being extended to foreign investors. He said that local and foreign investors have expressed keen interest in setting up solar energy projects in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Cholistan area of south Punjab.

The Chief Minister further said that government has made planning for generation of 2000 megawatt electricity initially at the park. He said that Punjab government is implementing a reforms programme for the development of education and health sectors and a special enrolment campaign has been started for achieving the target of hundred percent enrolments of children in schools. He said that the target of 100 percent literacy will be achieved in Punjab within next few years.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab government is paying attention to labour intensive investment and efforts are being made for poverty alleviation through imparting vocational and technical training to youth so as to make them self-reliant. He further said that government is also paying attention to promotion and investment in garments industry and investors will be provided all out facilities under one-window operation for this purpose.

He said that construction of small and medium dams and water storage projects is also among priorities of the government. Shahbaz Sharif further said that government is formulating a policy for eradication of terrorism and a favourable atmosphere will be provided for revival and development of economy through maintenance of law and order. He said that complete transparency is being ensured in investment and implementation of projects in various sectors of development.

Vice President of World Bank Philippe Le Houerour while speaking on the occasion said that provision of all-out cooperation and assistance of World Bank will be considered for development of energy, education, health and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan including Punjab. He said that a comprehensive programme will be evolved for this purpose and the scope of mutual cooperation will be expanded after review of experts. He also appreciated the efforts of the government for resolving terrorism, energy crisis and other problems.