ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the electricity and natural gas loadshedding was worse than terrorism due to which the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of the country was decreasing.
He was addressing the 25th Achievement Award Ceremony of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at Convention Center in Islamabad on Saturday.
RCCI President Javed Akhtar Bhatti besides MNAs Malik Pervez Mohammad Hanif Abbasi, Malik Ibrar, Malik Shakeel Awan, Begum Tahira Aurangzeb, Adviser to Punjab chief minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, MPAs Raja Hanif Advocate, Shehryar Riaz, Ziaullah Shah, Chaudhry Ayyaz, Malik Iftikhar, diplomats and a large number of office-bearers and workers of the chamber were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister said the crisis of loadshedding was due to a circular debt of Rs500 billion and the federal government did not make any effort to overcome it.
He said in addition to Punjab, about Rs300 billion were outstanding against other provinces and government institutions and if this amount was recovered, then 4,000 megawatts could be included in electricity.
He said injustice had been committed with Punjab with regard to electricity and gas loadshedding, adding that the crisis of electricity had become serious throughout the country, agriculture of Punjab had become barren and industries were facing serious problems.
Mr Sharif said people of the province could not sleep during the night due to loadshedding and small businessmen and workers were facing problems due to closure of industries and were unable to earn their livelihood.
He gave approval in principle to the setting up of a modern industrial estate in Rawalpindi and directed the commissioner Rawalpindi to select land through assembly members and office-bearers of the RCCI.