ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday directed the authorities to expedite the pace of privatisation and outsourcing of the power distribution companies (Discos) during a high-level meeting regarding the power sector.

Presiding over the meeting, the prime minister emphasised the need to seek assistance from private sector experts and globally accepted models to improve the management affairs of the Discos.

He also instructed the preparation and presentation of a comprehensive plan in the next meeting to improve the power system in the country.

He said that reforms in the power sector would contribute to reducing the country’s circular debt. He also pledged not to allow electricity theft and other activities to harm the country’s treasury.

During the meeting, recommendations and measures to prevent power theft, reorganise the National Transmission and Dispatch Company, and implement new projects for electricity transmission were presented. The meeting was infomed that the Matiari-Rahim Yar Khan transmission line and Ghazi Barotha-Faisalabad line would be constructed to ensure power transmission from the southern part of the country.

The meeting was further informed that a comprehensive strategy had been evolved for the reorganisation of NTDC to reform the power transmission system and to minimise the government’s circular debts. The PM urged the completion of all reform initiatives within the stipulated time.

Saudi investment

In a separate meeting regarding Saudi investment, PM Shehbaz stated that he would personally oversee the Saudi investment projects and warned against any delays caused by red tape or outdated procedures.

He expressed gratitude to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for sending a high-level delegation, which is expected to initiate a new era of Saudi investment in Pakistan, trade partnerships, and business ties.

He commended the relevant federal ministers, the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), and other senior officers for their efforts in facilitating a mutually beneficial partnership during the visit of the Saudi delegation.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2024

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