ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the government has initiated many projects for preservation of alternate energy in the country to overcome the shortage of electricity. Replying questions in the National Assembly on Saturday he said under the programme, four wind mills have been installed in the coastal areas of Sindh which will soon be inaugurated.
He said feasibility study for solar energy is also underway and expressed the hope that first project of solar energy will be completed within one year and would be utilized to operate agriculture tube wells. Raja Pervez Ashraf said that NEPRA is sole authority to determine the power tariff however its approval is granted by the government. The Minister said ten small hydro plants with cumulative capacity of 110 megawatts to become operational in 2012 while 103 off-grid small hydro plants with cumulative capacity of 15 megawatts initiated in the country.
The Minister said the Ministry is considering constituting a Boundary Commission to resolve the dispute of net hydel profit of Diamir Bhasha Dam between Northern Areas and the NWFP. He said that two power Houses would be installed one each in Northern Areas and the NWFP at the Dam site.
Replying to a question he said WAPDA is regularly paying six billion rupees annually as ad hoc payment of net hydel profit to the NWFP. He said during the current financial year WAPDA has made a payment of one point five billion rupees to the Province. Minister for Labour Syed Khurshid Shah informed the House that four hundred and thirty thousand workforce was exported to abroad during this year which is one hundred and fifty thousand more than the last year.
He said that Pakistan received one point six billion dollars more remittances this year as compared to previous year. He said government is making efforts to provide technical education to the youth so that they could be able to get lucrative jobs abroad. He said government is also making efforts to increase remittance up to seven billion dollars per annum.-SANA