GUANGZHOU, July 7: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked a prominent Chinese company on Sunday to offer suggestions and provide help in curbing line losses and theft of electricity in Pakistan.

After arriving here in the third phase of his five-day visit, he held a meeting with Zhao Jianguo, president of the China Southern Power Grid (CSG). He told him that his government was working on building power plants based on coal, solar and wind energy as Pakistan was blessed with abundant resources.

The prime minister said he and his team had approached Chinese companies working in energy sector and received a positive response from them, adding that agreements with them were being worked out.

He said launching such projects would take time and they were working now on plans to cut down line losses and power theft. He sought suggestions from Mr Jianguo who said proper management and supervision coupled with application of stringent laws could be of help in this regard.

Answering a question, he told Mr Sharif that line losses had been slashed from six per cent to one per cent in China.

He said his company was ready to help Pakistan in addressing the problems of line losses and theft. Mr Sharif asked him to provide consultancy.

The prime minister said Pakistan was facing an acute shortage of power but the government had decided to resolve the issue as soon as possible. It had inherited the problem because the previous government did not pay much attention to this sector, he said, adding that his government had taken several steps to solve the problem.

He said he had discussed projects in energy and other sectors during his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. He also held encouraging talks with representatives of Chinese companies working in energy sector.

Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif told the CSG president that Pakistani people were looking towards the Chinese government and companies for cooperation in energy sector.

The CSG is ranked 150th among 500 Fortune companies. It generates 1 million megawatt and provides electricity to 33 million people.

Talking to Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Han Zheng, in Shanghai on Saturday, Prime Minister Sharif said with the support of China, Pakistan would cope with energy challenges which would subsequently strengthen its economy.

He said being time-tested friends, Pakistan and China had together withstood difficult times, adding that both countries would keep supporting each other.

Mr Zheng said strong economic relations between the two countries would bring their citizens closer to each other.—APP


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