Five working days a week; Markets till eight: Gilani
LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday announced to reduce official working days in the government offices to five – a step that would result in saving 700 MW electricity, DawnNews reported.
Speaking at a press briefing after chairing the second national energy conference here, he said the ‘gift’ of circular debt was inherited by his government. “More difficult decision to come in near future,” he added.
He said instead of advancing the clocks by one hour, office timings would be adjusted to minimise the use of electricity in the summer season. “Business centers across the country would be closed at 8 PM except for Saturdays,” he added.
Acknowledging that the energy crisis was affecting every sector of the country, the prime minister expressed determination to overcome it with the cooperation of all stake holders.
He said massive load shedding has resulted in heavy losses to the economy and every segment of society has been disturbed.
The premier announced a special subsidy for consumers who use less than 100 units a month.
“Due to efforts of the government the situation has been improved. However, it is essential to chalk out long term strategy to enhance power generation,” Gilani said.
“We will have to make collective and individual efforts to boost electricity generation through various means to get rid of load shedding,” he stressed.
He assured the government will give serious consideration to proposals of the conference to increase electricity generation and reduce load shedding in minimum time.
“Unfortunately we inherited net shortfall of 5000MW and made strenuous efforts to increase generation. There is need to further concentrate on enhancing generation.”
The prime minister said that as a result of measures taken by the PPP-led government a total of 3400MW electricity has been inducted in the national grid.
He felt people will have to play part by consuming less power as energy requirements in the country are enhanced by seven per cent every year.
He said power tariff has been increased due to increase in petroleum products prices in the international markets.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that uniform load shedding will be carried out across the country and legislation will be made to put a check on electricity theft.
Earlier in his inaugural speech, the chief minister spoke on current energy situation in the country specially in Punjab.
He suggested one-window operation at Prime Minister House to solve problems of power generation.
Chief ministers of the provinces, federal ministers and other officials also attended the conference.
The participants suggested various measures in order to overcome energy crisis.
Water and Power Minister Syed Naved Qamar said the government was working to overcome the crisis for which number of steps has already been implemented.
Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain said that short and long term projects were the need of the hour to control the crisis.
It is important to reduce production cost of electricity, he said.
He advised people to consider using LGP because it was cheaper as compare to petrol and diesel.