Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that there should be uniform loadshedding of electricity and gas across the country and that discriminatory distribution of electricity and gas is not acceptable at any cost.
He said this while talking to a delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) that called on him under its chairman Ahsan Bashir at Model Town, here today. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the issue of unjust attitude towards Punjab regarding worst loadshedding of electricity was raised forcefully at the Council of Common Interests, but consensus decisions of the council have not been implemented so far. He said that lakhs of labourers are being rendered jobless due to complete suspension of the electricity supply after gas to the industries in Punjab, and their domestic lives have been badly affected. He said that the economy is suffering irreparable loss because the country’s exports have been affected severely. He said that the people of Punjab should get their just right at any cost.
Member National Assembly Pervez Malik, Special Assistant Khawaja Salman Rafique, secretary industries, secretary energy, APTAMA officer-bearers Shahzad Ali Khan, Gohar Ejaz, SM Bashir, SM Tanveer, Wishal Monnu and Sheikh Akbar were also present on the occasion. The situation created by the suspension of gas and electricity to industries in Punjab was discussed in the meeting. The Chief Minister said that the energy crisis is worsening with every passing day due to inefficiency and corruption of the rulers sitting in Islamabad and no attention has been paid in this direction despite the passage of five years. He said that the country has plentiful resources, but there is neither gas nor electricity due to wrong policies of federal rulers and darkness rules everywhere. He said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N believes in national solidarity and harmony. He said that we have a clear stance from the day one that there should be uniform and equitable distribution of resources across the country while difficulties should also be shared. He said that Punjab has always played the role of elder brother and has sacrificed its resources for other provinces on several occasions. He said that at the agreement on National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, the Punjab set great examples of sacrifice and brotherhood and gave billions of rupees to Balochistan from its own share. He said that he had forcefully and logically presented the case of the people of the Punjab at every forum. He said that it was decided at the meeting of the Council of Common Interests and the energy conference that uniform loadshedding of electricity will be carried out across the country and the injustice meted out to Punjab will be compensated but these decisions have not been implemented.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif further said that he had worked for several months at tent offices set up at Minar-e-Pakistan and other districts of the province in extremely hot weather without caring for his health to express solidarity with the people. He said that the issue of unjust loadshedding of electricity and gas should be resolved amicably. He said that Punjab has a vital role in the economy of the country but industries are being closed down due to suspension of electricity and gas because of which lakhs of labourers are losing their livings. He said that exports are being affected and industrialists are restless. The Chief Minister assured the APTMA delegation that he will take every possible step to resolve their problems. The APTMA delegation briefed the Chief Minister on the situation created after the suspension of electricity and gas to the industrial sector.