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PM orders converting federal govt buildings on solar power by April

PM orders converting federal govt buildings on solar power by April

PM orders converting federal govt buildings on solar power by April

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was addressing a solarization conference,

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  • PM ordered to convert all federal govt buildings on solar power by April
  • He said the fuel import bill has reached $27 billion
  • He said the govt will have to complete IMF programme
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered to devise a plan to convert all the federal government buildings to solar power by April next year to slash a huge chunk out of the fuel import bill that has swelled to around $27 billion.

Addressing a solarization conference, the prime minister said that the procedures for conversion of solar power should be fast-tracked as they had set April 2023 as the timeline for the implementation of this plan.

The prime minister said under the plan, all the federal government ministries, departments, authorities and their offshoots in the provinces would immediately shift on solar energy.

He said it would be a model for the rest of the provincial governments as the federal government would not make additional expenditures over the solarization process.

He also urged all the relevant authorities and stakeholders to complete the required process by the end of April next year and meet the timeline. “Consider it as our political, social, national and religious duty to implement it as soon as possible,” he opined.

The prime minister said with these urgent measures, they would be able to generate 300 MW to 500MW of cheap power, thus reducing the import bill each year. He assured that the whole process would be conducted through transparent bidding via a third party.

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He also urged the provincial chief ministers to introduce solar systems in their respective provinces and assured the federal government’s complete assistance in this regard. “It is the only option of our survival as a nation,” he added.

The prime minister said that the process for the generation of 10,000MW solar power in the country had already commenced and the conversation of federal government buildings would be the first phase.

He said that developing countries like Pakistan had to bear the brunt of skyrocketing fuel and gas prices after the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He said $27 billion costly fuel import bill was a big challenge for the countries like Pakistan.

The prime minister said during the Covid pandemic, the prices of gas were crashed to the lowest and it was sold at $2 per unit, the then government committed a criminal negligence by not securing its import and due to it, now the whole nation had been suffering.

He said now gas was not available due to the global situation while fuel was being sold at an exorbitant prices in the global market. He added that they would have to convert to solar and renewable energy with lightning speed.

The prime minister said during the previous PML-N government, efforts were made for the production of cheap hydel electricity and land worth Rs100 billion was acquired for the construction of Bhasha dam.

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He said under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), coal and gas-fired projects were completed by the PML-N government during 2015 to overcome 20 hours crippling power outages in the country.

The prime minister said that different past governments in the country had not carried out reforms which swelled the circular debt and the costly power was generated.

He said the circular debt in power sector had reached to whopping Rs2.5 trillion and similarly the gas circular debt was also spiraling. Those governments had committed negligence that did not introduce reforms to reduce the circular debt, he added.

The prime minister referring to current economic challenges maintained that the entire nation was expecting them to given them respite from the price hike.

He said the coalition government never wanted to transfer the burden of price hike. In the past, the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was blatantly breached by the PTI’s government.

He prime minister regretted that if they wanted to give any subsidy in any sector, they had to go to IMF ‘which is a factor and painful reality’. He said that they had no other option, but would have to implement the IMF programme and lauded the Pakistani nation for braving the burden.

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