PM urges increased renewable energy resources to cut oil imports bill

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has directed the energy ministry to maximize the utilization of renewable energy resources to reduce the country's oil import bill. Presiding over a meeting in Islamabad today, he said the oil import worth billions of dollars can be controlled by using alternative resources like solar, wind and hydel. The Prime Minister said the country currently imports oil worth twenty seven billion dollars to meet its power and transportation needs. Discussing the ongoing drive against power theft, he lauded the performance of the Punjab government and expressed hope that other provinces would also follow suit to overcome the challenge. The Prime Minister said that strengthening the country's power transmission system requires utmost efforts and investment. He said the power production and investments in the sector would go down the drain unless the flaws in distribution network are removed. He directed the energy ministry to engage world-class consultants to suggest ways forwa rd to improve power transmission and distribution system. The Prime Minister expressed deep grief and over loss of precious lives and damages in recent torrential rains in different parts of the country. He directed the National Disaster Management Authority to relief operations in rain-hit areas and ensure provision of all necessary relief goods to the affected people. The Prime Minister also directed to shift imported coal-fired power plants on local coal. He said in the future only clean and low cost hydropower and renewable plants will be installed in the country. The meeting was also briefed on the 600 MW solar power project under foreign investment. The Prime Minister issued instructions to the authorities concerned to speed up efforts for foreign investment in the solar energy project. Shehbaz Sharif directed to accelerate the process of privatization of active GENCOs and auction of inefficient power houses. The Prime Minister said all possible measures are being taken to reduce the per unit pr ice of electricity for the common man. Source: Radio Pakistan