Electricity crisis will be resolved within three years: PM
KARACHI: In a bid to woo foreign investment, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that the economic environment in the country is improving. He also said the prevailing electricity crisis will be resolved by the end of his government's term.
While launching the ninth edition of the Expo Pakistan 2015 Sharif painted an encouraging picture of the country's economy and told the participants of the biggest trade fair in Pakistan that, “Those who want to set up industries in the country now is the time, within the next three years Pakistan will overcome its energy crises.”
Addressing the participants of the event, comprising Chinese, German and Arab guests along with local businessmen, Sharif said that, “There will be ample electricity available to industrial and household owners. Our goal is not only to provide electricity but also to lower the cost of its production.”
“For this purpose we have decided to set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) based power generating projects. The money for these projects will be provided from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). We won’t take any chances,” the premier said.
He further said, “We are setting power producing units with the help of China and by the end of 2017 and construction in this regard has already started. 3,700 megwatts would have been added to the grid. The project would be funded from the government kitty, we are not depending on private sector or bank loans.”
The premier said that the government was working very hard in this regard and more electricity and power has been added to the system.
“Energy resources are not available as per need for which we are unable to deliver our orders to foreign customers but the crises will be resolved soon. We are trying to raise the country’s outlook from negative to positive,” Sharif said.
He added, “We are happy that we are on the right track towards progress and development. We are planning to set up more industrial projects in the country within next 25 years.”
Sharif said that his government was making special efforts to make Pakistan a prosperous country.
He said that the country’s exports for the year 2013-2014 stood at $25bn and added that, “We hope exports will reach $50bn in the next three years as the situation in the country improves day by day.”
The premier said that, “The country’s textile policy has been reviewed and exports in the textile sector will increase from $13bn annually to $26bn annually by the year 2019.”
He said that the government will provide all facilities to reach the intended economic goals and added that, “Pakistan’s textile industry holds a prestigious position in the global market especially in household apparels like bedsheets, jeans etc.”
He also said that the rice industry in the country operates on standards of international level.
Sharif termed the event as an opportunity for traders and to introduce their products to the world and show case it in the global markets.
Similarly he said foreign buyers can avail the opportunity created by this expo to seek the products as per their requirements.
“Deals can be reached between the buyers and the Pakistani [producers on good terms which are in the interests of the country and nation,” he said.
Prime Minister Sharif said that implementation on the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) is underway from which all South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are reaping benefits.
He said the local taxation system is being made more convenient and facilitative and expressed the hope that all foreign guests willl return to your respective countries carrying good memories of Pakistan.
Talking about the law and order situation in the country and specifically Karachi he said, "We initiated the Zarb-i-Azb operation, Karachi operation, the decision should have been taken earlier, why was the move not carried out five years earlier."
He said, "We will not abandon the Karachi operation half way through; we will take it to its logical conclusion."
He further said that situation of Karachi had improved from what it what a year and a half ago and added that a year from now the situation will have improved further as compared to now.
Earlier upon his arrival at Karachi Airport, the premier was greeted by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.
Expo Pakistan is the biggest trade fair in Pakistan, showcasing the largest collection of Pakistan's export merchandise and services.
Foreign exhibitors, from neighboring countries, also use this platform to launch their products.
Sharif also welcomed suggestions from the local business community, factory owners and leaders of political parties with regard to improving the country's economy and industries.
The ninth edition of the four-day Expo Pakistan is being organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
First held in 2005, the last Expo Pakistan held in 2013 was highlighted by the participation of a large number of local and foreign buyers who settled business deals estimated at US$ 1 billion as compared to deals estimated at US$ 690 million the year before, according to the ExpoPakistan website.