ISLAMABAD: In a bid to produce cheap electricity to provide relief to domestic consumers and industries, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed the authorities concerned to import coal from Afghanistan.
Presiding over a meeting, the prime minister approved the import of high-quality coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of dollars to save the country’s precious foreign exchange.
“This will not only generate cheap electricity but also help save the country’s precious foreign exchange,” he was quoted by the Prime Minister Office as saying.
The prime minister ordered improvement in the transportation of coal to be imported from Afghanistan. He also directed the Ministry of Railways to take all necessary steps to ensure prompt delivery of the imported coal to power plants.
PM Sharif also issued the directive for forming a committee of officials concerned headed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to expedite the import process of coal.
During the meeting, the prime minister was informed that the import of coal initially required for Sahiwal and Hub power plants from Afghanistan would save over $2.2 billion annually in the import bill.
Expressing concern over the rising price of coal in the international market, the prime minister termed it the main reason for the costly power generation from coal-based power plants in the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharif on Monday stressed the need for collective efforts to make the polio vaccination campaign successful.
In a tweet, he said: “Polio is a deadly virus that threatens not just life but also the future of our children. It is regrettable that we have not fully eliminated it so far. Polio campaign starting today aims to target 25 most vulnerable districts. Let us make it a success & defeat polio, once for all.”
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2022