Islamabad, January 23, 2013 (PPI-OT): The eleventh meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) was held on Wednesday under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the PM’s Secretariat.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan, Minister for Communication, Mir Changez Khan Jamali, Minister for Science and Technology, Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani, Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Minister for Railways, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Governor Balochistan, Mr. Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh, Rana Sanaullah, Provincial Law Minister Punjab representing Chief Minister Punjab, Chief Secretaries and senior government officials.
Reviewing earlier decisions of the Council of Common Interests regarding power situation in the country, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that exploration and production of Coal from Thar was one of the foremost polices of the government. In this connection, the decision taken by the government to use the Thar Coal as fuel for future thermal plants was discussed in length.
The Prime Minster was informed that Asian Development Bank was assisting in construction of a 600MW Thermal Power Plant with an estimated cost of 900 million dollars at Jamshoro which will use Thar Coal. In addition Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had also shown interest in construction of power plant besides laying transmission lines from Thar to Matiari for transmission of electricity.
Regarding the progress on instructions by given the Council to Ministry of Water and Power to direct Generation Companies (GENCOs) for entering an agreement with the Thar Coal Energy Board, the Prime Minister said that the same should be finalized within seven days.
The Prime Minister also directed the Ministry of Finance to process the request of Government of Sindh for providing sovereign guarantee to the Chinese company interested in mining of Thar Coal and setting up a power plant. The Finance Ministry informed the meeting that the request was being processed by the Ministry and would be put up before the next meeting of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet.
The meeting was also informed that out of the 3 million incandescent bulbs (Energy Saver) one million were expected in March this year which would be distributed among the consumers.
The council also discussed in detail the issue of recoveries from the provincial governments on account of electricity provided to them by the Distribution Companies.
All the Provinces assured the Council of paying the actual amount and disputed the claims raised by the Federation.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that the issues of recoverable amounts was very important as the Federal Government has till date injected Rs. 186 billion in the power sector this year. Unless the provinces and consumers paid the bills it would be difficult to maintain supply of power, he observed.
The Prime Minister constituted a committee comprising Federal Ministers, Syed Khursheed Shah and Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to reconcile the figures between Federal government and provinces and develop a mechanism to ensure that there is no discrepancy in figures in the future. The Secretary Water and Power has been directed to assist the Committee.
The CCI also took up the issue of regularization of services of Lady Health Workers. It was decided that Federal Government regularize their services and cover till 2017.
The representatives of provinces assured the Council that they would ensure that sugar mills paid the dues to the growers.
Chairman Railways Board, Mr. Arif Azim in his overview about the current situation of Railways sensitized the Council about the problems facing Pakistan Railways.
The Chairman in his briefing to the Council said that presently 152 locomotives are in operation and it is expected that an additional 302 locomotives which are in pipeline would be added to the Railways fleet by the end of this year.
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