SIALKOT/WAZIRABAD-Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Muhammad Akhtar Malik said that the PTI government was actively focusing on the production and promotion of wind and solar energy to meet the growing power needs of the country.

He said that the production of cheaper energy was the top priority of the government. Addressing a meeting of the management of Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) during his visit, he said that the promotion of wind and solar energy has now become vital to overcome the energy crisis in the country.

He said that previous governments did nothing practically to end the energy crisis which badly affected the industrial sector and national economy.

He said that previous governments only made very costly and expensive plans but remained unable to focus on production and promotion of wind and solar energy.

He said that it was the demand of the day that both Diamir and Bhasha dams be constructed on top priority to avert the feared water crisis in coming years.

He hailed the management of Sialkot international airport for donating Rs100 million to Prime Minister Imran Khan for establishment of the dams. He urged the exporters to focus on promotion of research and development in their industries for exploring and capturing the international markets.

He said that the exporters have set a unique example by establishing SIAL on self-help basis, the first ever mega project of private sector.

He hailed the spirit of Sialkot exporters for establishing the international airport on self-help basis.

On the occasion, SIAL former Chairmen Malik Muhammad Ashraf and Chaudhary Ghulam Mustafa said the Sialkot international airport has been playing a pivotal role in opening the new vistas of socio-economic and human development in Pakistan's first-ever "Golden Export Triangle" comprised of Sialkot, Gujrat and Gujranwala districts, besides, helping a lot in boosting the Sialkot exports.

They added that the project was moving ahead successfully towards the goal of success and excellence. SIAL's General Manager Nawaz Chaudhary, Manager Admin Nawaz Ahmed Toor, Azkarul Haq, Manager Public Relations Abdul Shakur Mirza, Incharge Terminal Services Yaqub Qureshi and Manager Business Development Aamir Yaqub were also present.

Talking to news men during his visit to Al-Raee Hospital  at Wazirabad, the minister said that the government was going to announce its energy policy to meet over 400,000 units demand.

Only solar and wind energy can fill the exiting electric space, he said.

He stated that 50 percent of Industry was closed due to energy crisis  while a many Industrial units had been shifted abroad especially to Bangladesh and Malaysia from Pakistan. Pakistan is a country full of resources and has opportunity to produce solar and wind energy. 

"We have to put Economy on right path just to provide job opportunitikes,"  he said.  Major part of electricity goes to domestic use, 17 percent to Industry and 13 percent is used in the market.

To a query, he stated that encroachers were a mafia. Operation against encroachment was being conducted without discrimination and properties will be retrieved from land grabbers, he said.