LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said a new history of hard work, trust, honesty and struggle has been written with regard to progress on energy projects.

“Energy production projects of the incumbent government are proving a milestone in development and prosperity of the country. The country has got rid of the darkness of loadshedding due to completion of a number of energy projects during the last more than four years,” the chief minister said while talking to PML-N parliamentarians here on Tuesday.

The chief minister said the Punjab government was setting up a new gas-based 1,263 megawatt plant to meet the energy needs of the future. This project has been designed keeping in view the future needs and energy challenges. As a result of this, people will get cheap electricity, he said.

He said that energy projects were in fact initiatives of national development and prosperity and sincere and serious steps taken by the PML-N in last four years had no resemblance in 70-year history of the country. During the last few years serious efforts have been made to overcome the energy crisis with speed, he said. Work on energy projects has been accelerated across the country under the CPEC, he said. Under the CPEC, he said, solar, wind and hydropower projects are being established all over the country. He said that work on a number of CPEC related projects is being carried out day and night in the Punjab and all these initiatives are moving towards completion. He said that China had invested billions of dollars in different sectors in Pakistan and added that more than 36 billion dollars had been invested in energy projects alone. He added that Chinese investment of 36 billion dollars in energy projects under the CPEC was a vital initiative as this pact had opened doors for foreign investment in Pakistan. CPEC is such an economic project which can benefit all countries of the region, he said.

The chief minister said that untiring efforts of the PML-N government for overcoming the energy crisis had yielded results and it was the fruit of the efforts of the present government that thousands of megawatts of electricity had been added to the national grid. He said that 1320 megawatts of electricity were being produced by Sahiwal Coal-based Power Plant, while 3,600 megawatt gas power plants had been completed in a record period of time. Similarly, 400 megawatt solar energy projects have been completed at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur, he added.

Shehbaz said the process of national development had been geared up in the country due to economic policies of the government and added that the PML-N led government was taking forward agenda of public welfare as a sacred mission. However, some political elements had obstructed the journey of national development and prosperity in which sit-in group was on the forefront, he said. Anti-people policies of the sit-in group have been exposed and opponents of public development have been defeated at every front, he said.

The chief minister said that national resources were plundered in the past. “Different projects have been completed in our tenure in a record period of time and in a transparent manner,” he said. He said that cronies of the former dictator looted billions of rupees from the Bank of Punjab; whereas a cruel game was played in the name of energy projects during the tenure of the PPP. The nation was made hostage to darkness due to criminal negligence and corruption, he added. Similarly, a conspiracy was hatched against national development through sit-ins and lockdown and the national economy has to face irreparable loss due to it. He said that all these elements had left no stone unturned to destroy the country. He said the man who made hay while the sun of corruption shined should look into his own deeds before lecturing others about transparency.

He said the PML-N government was free from corruption and its opponents could not bring any proof of corruption of even a single penny. There is no room for anarchy and negative politics in the country as people want solution to their problems and prosperity. The PML-N government will successfully carry forward the journey of national development, the chief minister said.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the death of Justice(R) Hamid Mirza, former chief election commissioner of Pakistan.

He also expressed sorrow and grief over the sad demise of Mian Abdul Waheed, former Member of the National Assembly and diplomat.

In his polio day message, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the World Polio Day provided an opportunity to reiterate the commitment to work with utmost zeal and vigor to eradicate this disease from the country.