Relief in power tariff govt’s top priority, says Premier

-Briefed on steps to enhance exports
-Clears plan for new Blue Area commercial city

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday terming energy sector as vital for the country’s economic progress said reduction in electricity price, energy reforms and overcoming power losses was the priority of the government.
The prime minister was chairing a high-level meeting on proposals to reduce the cost of electricity, which was attended by Planning minister Asad Umer, Power minister Omar Ayub, Minister for maritime affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to PM Nadeem Babar and relevant federal secretaries.
Imran Khan said the government was cognizant of problems faced by electricity consumers and was making efforts to ensure stability in prices to facilitate common man.
He mentioned that the government was providing relief to consumers using 100 to 300 of electricity.He regretted that negligence of previous governments on power projects and administrative reforms put unnecessary burden over electricity consumers.
Meanwhile, Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Monday apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan over various proposals and steps to increase production of technological items and their export.
Giving the briefing, the minister apprised the prime minister that they had identified 252 products in chemicals, bio-technology, machinery, textile, base metals, plastic and others in which foreign reserves could be earned at the international level through enhanced production and by decreasing their import.
In this regard, he said, the ministry had been formulating three, seven and ten years programmes.
Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for Narcotics Control Sheheryar Afridi Chairman Board of Investment Syed Zubair Gilani and other secretaries concerned and senior officials attended the meeting, PM Office Media Wing in a press release said.
Briefing over the high-tech industrial development, national capacity and future strategy was also given and the minister highlighted certain proposals over different important projects in this connection.
In the first phase, Fawad said, herbal, food and medicines sectors would be given attention so that export volume of such items could be widened and it could be brought to 3 per cent of overall export of technological items till 2030. The prime minister was also apprised about the progress on the establishment of Jhelum Industrial bio-technology park and other related issues.
The prime minister appreciated the proposals highlighted by the minister for the increase of technological products at the national level and assured that the government would fully extend its cooperation.
The minister also briefed the prime minister that the ministry had also retrieved 25 acres of land worth billion of rupees belonging to Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in Lahore from a relative of a political figure.