ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Friday reviewed the steps taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy to enhance power generation in the country while chairing a meeting of the body at the PM’s House.

The meeting was apprised that arrangements were being made on the directives of the prime minister to provide requisite natural gas to the power plants and the system would be fully operational within four to five days. Gilani directed the Technical Sub-committee of the Energy Committee to hold an emergency meeting to remove bottlenecks in the way of importing LNG and LPG and to present a report to the cabinet for a final decision. The prime minister observed that rationalisation of loadshedding, proper load management and injection of additional megawatts in the system would provide relief to the people.

The meeting also reviewed steps taken by different government departments for energy conservation. It was also decided to diligently pursue recovery of outstanding dues on account of the arrears from the defaulting provincial governments and state-run organisations.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Deputy Chairman Planning Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, secretaries of the relevant ministries and other top government officials.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Gilani had directed the Finance Ministry to immediately release Rs 6 billion for payment to the generation companies for enhanced power generation. He had further directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources to take immediate steps for provision of natural gas to the power plants so that loadshedding hours could be minimised after addition of more electricity in the system.

The premier also asked the minister for water and power to hold meetings with business community and other stakeholders to take them on-board regarding government’s policies and seek their views.