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Punjab Cabinet approves new 1200 megawatt gas based power plant

Lahore : An important meeting of the Provincial Cabinet was held here today in the chair of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.

The meeting accorded approval to the setting up of new 1200 megawatt gas based power plant in the province.

The meeting also approved the establishment of safe city projects in six major cities of the province. The safe city projects would be set up in Multan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Sargodha. These projects would be implemented in phases; and later on, safe city project would also be initiated in Sahiwal.

The Provincial Cabinet approved the agreement between Punjab government, agriculture department and Akhuwat for providing interest free loans to small and landless farmers.

The Punjab government would set up a revolving fund with an amount of Rs.2 billion for the purpose.

The meeting also approved amendments in different laws including Punjab E-Stamp Rules 2016, Punjab Sales Tax on Services (Amended) Ordinance 2016, Fort Munro Development Act 2016 and PEEDA Act, 2016.

The meeting approved the establishment of Punjab Mental Health Authority under the Punjab Mental Health Ordinance, 2001.

The meeting also approved minutes of proceedings of 22 to 27 meetings of Standing Committee for Finance and Development of the Cabinet.

After the approval of amendments in PEEDA Act, 2006, the inquiry would have to be finalized in 60 days, instead of 90 days. Meanwhile, the retired employee has been granted the right to appeal.

In his address to the Provincial Cabinet, the Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government has decided to set up a new gas power plant of 1200 megawatt on its own.  A suitable piece of land would be identified near to the southern Punjab districts of Rahim Yar Khan or Muzaffargarh, for the establishment of electricity producing project from the gas. Like all other development projects, this energy project will also be completed speedily by working day and night on it. The electricity produced by the gas power project would be environment-friendly as well as cheap.

He said that 717 megawatt electricity is being included in the national grid through 1180 megawatt Bhikhi Power Plant. Meanwhile, additional 400 megawatt electricity would be produced in November, December from this power plant. Similarly, the 1320 megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project would start producing electricity from May 20 in the first phase; and this project would provide 660 megawatt electricity to the national grid in the first phase. The second phase of this project would be completed at the end of June.  He pointed out that the Sahiwal Coal Power Project would break record of speedy completion, not only in the whole of the world, but that of China, as well.

Meanwhile, the first turbine of Haveli Bahadur Shah Gas Power Plant will also start producing electricity from this month. On the other side, work on Balloki Gas Power Project is also in progress. He said that additional 5500 megawatt electricity would be included in the system at the end of 2017.

Similarly, as much as 9000 megawatt electricity will be provided to the national grid by March 2018.

The Chief Minister said that after its launch from Lahore, the safe city project is being launched in six big cities of the Punjab; and added that work on these safe city projects would be started within next few months. These projects would be completed in 2018, he added. The completion of safe city projects would help in eradicating terrorism and street crimes.

He said that no nation or society can move forward without first ensuring protection of life and property of the people. Safe city projects are an important step towards achieving that goal. The small farmers would be provided with interest free loans through a transparent and latest system.

The Chief Minister thanked Allah Almighty that different steps including kissan package, provision of agricultural equipments on subsidized rates to the farmers, cheap electricity and the subsidized fertilizers, have left positive steps on the agriculture sector. This time, bumper wheat crop has been produced.

The Kissan Package of the federal government, led by the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, has also benefitted the farmers, and the Punjab government has 50 percent share in this package.

While giving approval to the establishment of Punjab Mental Health Authority under the Punjab Mental Health Ordinance 2001, the Chief Minister said the different steps taken by the Punjab government for providing better healthcare facilities, have started yielding fruit. He vowed that no stone will be left unturned for providing qualitative and latest healthcare facilities to the people.

The Chief Minister constituted cabinet committee for the selection of authority members, and said that this committee will finalize the members of Punjab Mental Health Authority. The experts from the private sector will also be included in this authority.

The Chief Minister congratulated the cabinet members upon getting arrears of net hydel profit from the Center, and said that Punjab government would get arrears worth Rs.80 billion in this regard; and this amount would be utilized for the development and prosperity of the people. In addition to it, the Punjab will also regularly get its share of Rs.9 billion, every year, under this head.

The Punjab Cabinet commended the hard work and personal efforts of the Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and said that the Punjab government is rapidly moving towards prosperity under your dynamic leadership. The grant of arrears of net hydel profit to the Punjab government is because of your personal efforts.

The cabinet members appreciated the efforts of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for receiving net hydel profit. Chairman P&D briefed the cabinet members about the new 1200 megawatt gas power plant project.

Provincial Ministers, Advisors, Special Assistants, Chief Secretary and Secretaries of the concerned departments, attended the meeting.

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