ISLAMABAD Deciding to continue with two weekly offs and closure of markets by eight in the evening the Energy Summit Review Conference under the chair of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani decided to continue with the conservation measures agreed upon in the first Energy Conference till October 31. It was further decided that strict implementation on conservative measures would be ensured at all levels so that the gap between supply and demand could be narrowed down. As regards the outstanding payment of dues against the provincial governments, it was decided that the Ministerial Committee comprising Ministers for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Water and Power, and Finance would hold separate meetings with the Chief Ministers of the four provinces to resolve the matters urgently. The conference further decided that there would be no loadshedding at the time of Sehr and Iftar during the Holy month of Ramazan. The Prime Minister while concluding the Conference appreciated the role of all the provincial governments in the implementation of measures regarding conservation of energy. He also lauded the cooperative attitude and commitment of the provincial governments to resolve all relevant issues through discussion and dialogue. The Prime Minister said that the challenge of energy shortage has to be faced collectively since it is affecting the entire country. It is a collective responsibility of the federal and the provincial governments requiring joint efforts to overcome this issue, he added. Earlier addressing the meeting the Prime Minister said that government was making strenuous efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply, and informed that due to the Energy Conservation Plan adopted by the government some 1,500 Mega Watts electricity was saved per day. Welcoming the Chief Ministers, Federal and Provincial Ministers and other participants in the meeting convened to review implementation of the Energy Summit decisions and evaluate the desirability of their continuity beyond 31st July 2010, the Prime Minister observed that the crisis has imposed heavy costs on economy and people have to endure long hours of loadshedding. As you know, he added, the country has been in the grip of a persistent energy crisis since the last several years. The Prime Minister mentioned that the Energy Summit was held in April this year to evolve national consensus and mobilise public support for the future energy roadmap of this country, particularly the conservation measures to provide immediate relief in the situation. He said the Summit was a major success for the political leadership of this country. For the first time ever, national consensus was achieved on the national energy roadmap, he added. Subsequently, he said that the Energy Summit decisions were reviewed on 10th May 2010 and it was decided to reinforce their implementation to ensure immediate relief in energy situation in the country. The Prime Minister pointed out that there are still gaps in implementation of some conservation measures. Notwithstanding these gaps, he added, impact of the conservation measures has been impressive. He observed that the situation this year is better than the last year. He pointed out that about 1,500 Mega Watts electricity is reportedly being saved per day. He mentioned that saving due to Saturday closure is reportedly 500 MW which has provided the much needed relief to industry, agriculture and household consumers. He further said that in financial terms, the government is saving about US $ 150 billion in operating costs. The Prime Minister apprised the meeting that recently the government of Pakistan has jointly evolved an energy roadmap to eliminate loadshedding in the country which will be presented to the Inter-Ministerial Committee of FODP in October this year for funding and technical support of the international community. He said that government of Pakistan is making strenuous efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply, yet there are several challenges which have to be tackled with the well thought out national approach. The Prime Minister said the government is making all-out efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply. He appreciated that the approval of Diamir-Bhasha Dam by the Council of Common Interest is a milestone. He pointed out that the Dam would provide 4,500 MW of power, in addition to the much needed water storage capacity for agriculture. The Prime Minister said the government announced a Vision Statement for the power sector which envisages addition of 20,000 MW by 2020. He further said that the new vision depends heavily on use of indigenous fuel resources like coal, hydel, gas and renewables. He hoped that the World Bank will come out strongly in support of this Vision with a higher financial outlay. He informed the participants that the government has been given the understanding that the World Bank has agreed to provide support for coal-based power projects. He asked the Ministry of Water and Power to provide necessary support for infrastructure development in Thar Coal area. Prior to the energy meeting the PM also met Chief Ministers of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. The Prime Minister thanked the Chief Ministers for their cooperation in the implementation of the measures taken for the conservation of energy. These measures, he added, helped in saving 1,500 MW per day. This summer unlike the previous year, he added, the industry was provided uninterrupted power supply and in the same way the tube wells were provided 10 hours uninterrupted power supply in the rural areas. He further said that duration of the loadshedding was restricted to four hours in residential areas. Raja Pervez Ashraf, Minister for Water & Power and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Recourses Naveed Qamar were also present in the meeting.