ISLAMABAD : Former Finance Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Ishaq Dar Saturday alleged that rulers seem non-serious to steer the country out of looming energy crisis.
Addressing a news conference here at Punjab House, he expresses disappointment over the new budget saying that no concrete steps have been taken to resolve the load shedding problem.
Senator Ishaq Dar said country is facing enormous problems and poverty and unemployment are the most serious. He said more than 49 percent Pakistanis are living below the poverty line.
He describing the federal budget 2012-13 as disappointing, saying it lacks remedial measures to cope with looming energy crisis besides suggesting to recover the written off loans amounting Rs300 billion to overcome the power crisis. He grilled the government and its economic team for tall claims and unrealistic budgetary figures.
PML-N leader reiterated that besides other issues, the country was currently facing most serious problem of energy crisis which has shaken the country’s economy and the proposed allocation of Rs183 billion for power sector would not be enough to overcome the power crisis. He said that there are short-term and long-term strategies to cope with the challenge.
Giving his suggestion to overcome energy crisis, he said as a short-term solution the written off loans on political grounds amounting Rs300 billion should immediately be recovered and the circular debts should be paid so as to get rid of the load shedding. While the existing power units could also be upgraded which can generate extra 1200 megawatt electricity, he maintained.
For long-term strategy, he said that his party’s Punjab government has given many fruitful suggestions in the Council of Common Interest (CCI), adding that 4908 MW more electricity can be produced by construction of Nandipur power plant, which has been stalled for the last two and half years. He also lamented that the proposed programme of 2007-12 under which 11708 MW electricity was supposed to be produced but it was still in the papers.
Dar said that country was facing enormous problems and poverty and unemployment are the most serious, which the government does not have the capability to come up with realistic solution. He also grilled the government for creation of proposed 100,000 more jobs, saying that the government should come up with sensible measures to overcome unemployment. He said that the poor condition of national exchequer does not allow the government to create jobs in such large number. For the purpose the government has the only to publish more currency notes which will trigger inflationary-spiral, he pointed out.
He further pointed out that more than 49 percent Pakistanis are living below the poverty line. He expresses disappointment over the new budget saying that no concrete steps have been taken to resolve the problems of the people. PML-N leader strongly opposed proposed perks and privileges for former presidents and prime ministers and asked the government to withdraw the proposal.