ISLAMABAD - The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday approved 2250 megawatt rental power projects, instead of 1500MW projects as earlier approved by ECC, after the refusal of the Ministry of Petroleum to supply gas for the remaining 750 megawatt projects, sources said. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had suggested to the Ministry of Water and Power to install rental power plants of 1500MW capacity against the ministrys proposal of 2250MW rental power projects. The ECC had advised the Ministry of Water and Power to ask the Ministry of Petroleum for supplying 200 mmcft gas for the remaining 750MW projects. The sources in the Ministry of Water and Power told TheNation that the Ministry of Petroleum had declined its demand of supplying the said quantity of gas so it had to go for the rental projects to overcome the energy crisis in the country. The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting at the PM Secretariat under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. The meeting discussed and ratified decisions of the ECC meetings held on 11th, 18th and 21st August 2009. The meeting discussed the demand and supply situation of electricity in depth and decided fast track installation of rental power plants to bridge the gap before the end of this year. The meeting also accorded approval to 2250MW of power rental projects. The Prime Minister said that all resources would be utilised to end loadshedding in the country by December 2009 as it had severely affected the countrys economy. He said that the nation could afford more losses due to energy shortage, therefore, the government had to act fast to keep the economic wheel moving. In his opening statement, the Prime Minister said that after the announcement of the historic decision of introducing major legal and political reforms in FATA, the government had fulfilled the promise made on the floor of the House in his inaugural address. Now the people of FATA would henceforth be enjoying equal political status and legal rights and would no more be subjected to the whims of the administration, he added. The Prime Minister further said that another very important step taken by the democratic government was the introduction of Benazir Employees-Stock Option Scheme, which was a step towards empowerment of the workers in state-owned enterprises. The Prime Minister said that provision of relief to the masses was the foremost priority of the government. The recent price hike of essential food items during Ramzan was simply unacceptable to the government, therefore, special meetings were convened in that regard, he said. The government, he added, had decided to sell 100,000 tons of sugar during Ramzan through Utility Stores Corporation at Rs 38/Kg, 150,000 tons of Atta and 50,000 tons of Ghee at the reduced rates, import of 300,000 tons raw sugar and suspension of regulatory duty on import of potatoes during Ramzan, fixing Rs 45/Kg as ex-mill price of sugar, 50 per cent reduction in GST for three months and allocation of 10,000 tons of imported sugar to Balochistan. The Prime Minister said that he was personally monitoring the price situation on a regular basis and prompt action would be taken to rectify any unwarranted situation. The Prime Minister said that on the floor of the House he had made a pledge that the democratic government was committed to promoting transparency, accountability and good governance in public sector operations and volunteered to start with the audit of the Prime Ministers Secretariat. To redeem the confidence of public, he urged all the cabinet members to show zero tolerance towards misuse of authority and inefficiency in running the affairs of their ministries and exercise prudence in use of government funds. The Prime Minister said that the 63rd Independence Day was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm in all the provinces including Balochistan and AJ&K. In the valley of Swat, he added, there were jubilations as peace has been restored after tremendous sacrifices by the military and civil forces. Balochistan also celebrated Independence Day like other provinces and demonstrated unity, he said. The Prime Minister said that he had already given direction to abolish inter-provincial restrictions on edibles and would not allow one country to be divided into four markets. The people of all the provinces and regions are united and have a common claim on food supplies, he remarked.