Power rate for Karachi up by Re0.93

ISLAMABAD: Now it is the turn of Karachiites to face the music as Nepra here on Wednesday increased the power tariff of KESC consumers by Re0.93 per unit against the fuel adjustments needed in the last eight months.

The perpetual increase in the power tariff for loadshedding-stricken masses is not a new thing, but this time the power regulator has issued the notification about the eight months fuel adjustments in the power tariff for Karaciites.

According to the notifications issued by Nepra, the power tariff was increased by Re0.17 per unit for the month of June 2012 and then decreased by Re0.07 per unit for the month of July, Re0.37 per unit for August 2012 and Re0.40 per unit for the month of September 2012.

However, Nepra increased the power tariff by Re0.35 per unit for the month of October 2012, Re0.10 per unit for November, Re0.02 per unit for December and Rs1.30 per unit for the month of January 2013.

And the net impact has been worked out in the form of a raise in power tariff by Re0.93 per unit after adjusting the decreases and increase in power tariff for the last eight months in the head of fuel adjustment mechanism. The decision of raise in power tariff by Re093 per unit would not be effective on life line consumers who utilise just 50 units a month. (Courtesy: The News)

Karachi: 2 cops injured in grenade attack near Baloch Colony

KARACHI: Unidentified culprits riding a motorbike hurled two hand grenades at KESC police station near Baloch Colony area Thursday morning, Geo News reported.

According to police, unknown miscreants threw two hand grenades at the KESC police station in Baloch Colony and fled from the scene. As a result of grenade blast, two policemen were injured who were rushed to hospital for treatment where one is said to be in critical condition.

Security forces cordoned off the area and started searching for the accused. (Courtesy: The News)

Ambassador James Dobbins’ meeting with President PML-N Nawaz Sharif

Ambassador James Dobbins’ meeting with President PML-N, Mr Nawaz Sharif on 30th May, 2013 at Raiwind

The newly appointed US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador James Dobbins called on President PML(N), Mr Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Raiwind this evening.

Ambassador Dobbins conveyed President Obama’s and Secretary Kerry’s warm felicitations and good wishes on the PML-N’s victory in the just concluded general elections. This was also a victory for democracy and the democratic institutions in Pakistan and this development would have most positive influence on other countries as well.

Ambassador Dobbins also briefed Mr Nawaz Sharif on the current status of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, as well as prospects of peace in that country, which he felt would be critical for peace in the region as well. He emphasized that the Obama administration was confident of seeing stronger and more cooperative ties between United States and Pakistan.

Ambassador Dobbins was accompanied by the US Charge d’ Affairs Ambassador Richard Hoagland, while the PML-N’s President was assisted by Mr Ishaq Dar and Mr Tariq Fatemi.

Be patient as power relief needs time: Nawaz Sharif

LAHORE: The PML-N president and prime minister in-waiting Nawaz Sharif has resolved to overcome the power crisis at the earliest. At the same time, he warned people against harbouring any illusions that the new government would end loadshedding as soon as it takes charge.

Addressing a ceremony in connection with Youm-e-Takbir here on Tuesday, which marks the country’s nuclear explosions, Nawaz said he would work day and night to overcome the power crisis.

Nawaz claimed that it was a tragedy that a country with atomic weapons was deprived of electricity and had no electricity for 20 hours a day. “How can a country develop in such a situation?” he asked. He urged the people to show patience for improvement of power supply situation.

Nawaz vowed to install new power plants to tackle the problem, which acted as a huge drag on the economy, shaving up to 4 percent of GDP according to the Planning Commission, but he warned that there would be no quick fix. He said the power plants might take three years to operate.

“Don’t expect that the new government will come and resolve the issue of loadshedding as soon as it takes charge, we will cure the problem as well as pray Allah Almighty to fix it,” Nawaz added.

He said his government would carry out “economic explosion” within the next five years. Nawaz said Pakistan and China had agreed to launch joint economic ventures that would go a long way to overcome the financial problems as well as end unemployment and poverty in the country.

Nawaz said during the recent visit of the Chinese premier to Pakistan, he held discussions with him during which they agreed to make joint economic plans to the mutual benefit of both countries. He claimed that if these plans succeed, the destiny of the Pakistani nation would be changed and unemployment and poverty would be completely eliminated from the country.

Nawaz expressed his determination to bring the country out of inherited problems which included heavy burden of loans. He admitted that the problems are very serious as unemployment and poverty were rampant and he was in a fix what to choose. He claimed that if he decided to repay the debts, poverty aggravates and energy crisis would remain unresolved. He stated he was having sleepless nights.

Nawaz said his government would frame policies which would be effective beyond the five years tenure of his upcoming government. He said energy crisis was his major worry at the moment as economic progress and peaceful civil life depended on its availability.

He claimed that full-scale efforts would be made by his government to revive the economy and bring the electricity back. He said this would take time and the nation would have to show patience, but he promised to overcome all difficulties. He claimed that they had coal reserves sufficient to generate power for 100 years but billions of dollars were needed to make electricity from these reserves.

He said Bhasha and Dasu dams could be constructed but only Bhasha needed 10 to 15 billion dollars which was not available at the moment. However, he added, the nation must not be disappointed as the PML-N had a vision and teams of experts to meet every challenge. He said they have planned to end line-losses which could cut down loadshedding hours by half.

Nawaz saluted the Punjabis and termed their decision in favour of the PML-N mature and a means to prove wrong the opinion of the experts about split and fractured mandate in the elections. He said a strong government was a dire need of the hour as only that can establish its writ and take bold decisions. He said the decision of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa people was emotional, that of Sindh traditional and Balochistan in favour of the PML-N. “Now Pakistan will change in days and not in years,” he said informing the gathering that after taking oath as the prime minister on June 5, he would lay out before the nation a development programme and take them into confidence on it. He said he has a dream for a prosperous Pakistan which he feels is going to be realised in the time to come. He said he would accept greetings of the Youm-e-Takbir from the masses when every home will become bright and every person happy. (Courtesy: The News)

Shahbaz Sharif reaches London

LONDON: Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been given a historic mandate by the people of Pakistan to resolve the chronic issues of poverty and electricity crisis that have engulfed the country “due to the incompetence” of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government.

Former Punjab chief minister and the chief minister-designate Shahbaz Sharif arrived in London on Tuesday afternoon for a medical check-up on a private visit. A large number of PML workers welcomed him at the airport.

Speaking to media, Shahbaz said that the PML-N fully realised the problems faced by the people of Pakistan due to shortage of electricity but assured that his party was working on a plan to deal with it as soon as possible. He blamed the PPP administration for creating this crisis.

“I can assure you that we will make efforts day and night to deal with this situation. We are preparing a plan and working on it with full concentration. We will ensure that trade and commerce get boost. The 18 hours of electricity is unacceptable. Energy is the nation’s life line.

When asked about his party’s position on the recent comments made by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain about ‘separating’ Karachi from Pakistan, Shahbaz said that he wished that Altaf Hussain had not made such remarks about Pakistan but “our party also said that his retraction should also be accepted.” “His (Altaf’s) comments hurt the whole nation, the nation went into a state of mourning over his comments. But he retracted his comments and that should be accepted.”

Shahbaz Sharif said that the stock markets have reacted positively to the PML-N victory. “We will soon bring policies to attract overseas Pakistanis so that they can invest in Pakistan and help us finish joblessness and poverty. The law and order situation needs to be addressed and the culture of government also needs to be reformed to encourage outside investors. We need effective policies for that.” (Courtesy: The News)

Nawaz Sharif rejects intl’ pressure, make Pak impregnable: Mushahid Ullah Khan

ISLAMABAD: Central Secretary Information Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Mushahid Ullah Khan on Tuesday said that on May 28, 1998 Chief of PML-N Nawaz Sharif had rejected the international pressure and conducted five underground nuclear tests and made Pakistan impregnable country in the region.

Talking to a private news channel, he said that Nawaz Sharif was the only leader who could reject the international pressure and do any thing for the country, adding in past Nawaz proved himself a national leader as he conducted nuclear test in response to India.

Mushahid Ullah said that Nawaz Sharif did not disgrace any political party in his speech and admitted the mandate of all political parties in recent polls.

The PML-N spokesman said that his party had worked out a strategy to tackle all internal and external issues being faced by the country.

Mushahid Ullah said that the PML-N was rich of a competent team and hoped that after coming into power, they would help resolve all the core issues. (Courtesy: Brecorder)

People dying but secretaries don’t bother to hold meetings: SC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the people of the country were dying due to excessive loadshedding, while the secretaries concerned did not even bother to hold a meeting to mitigate the situation.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a petition filed by the PML-N leader Khawaja Asif.The court asked the federal secretary finance to explain why the Nandipur power plant had not yet been shifted to the project site.

A joint secretary of the Finance Ministry apprised the court that the cost of the project had increased to Rs57 billion from Rs23 billion.The chief justice observed that it was due to the negligence of the concerned quarters that the cost had escalated. He observed that a file’s movement from one place to another took years in Islamabad. He further observed that the apex court has already issued directives to distribute electricity in an equitable manner in the country. He said 68 percent electricity is produced from furnace oil in Pakistan whereas in KSA the same quantity of electricity is generated from 26 percent of furnace oil.

Expressing dissatisfaction over absence of federal Finance secretary in the court the bench remarked that no direction of the court in the Rental Power Plants (RPPs) case verdict was implemented.

The CJ observed that consumers were desperate for electricity in the country but the secretary Finance has no time to assist the court in the current matter.Earlier, the court was informed that the Finance Ministry had issued sovereign guarantee for Rs23 billion for the project.

Khawaja Asif questioned then why the bill of lading had not been issued and why machinery of the project was stuck up at Karachi port?Justice Iftikhar observed that the machinery was still lying at the Karachi port, while the cost has increased manifold and the ministries are yet to be told about their job.Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked who is behind the escalation of the machinery cost. The hearing was adjourned for 10 days. (Courtesy: The News)

SC sends home NAB chief over PML-N’s petition

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sacked National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bukhari and directed the federal government to appoint a new chief of the bureau, forthwith.

The ruling came in the petition filed by PML-N leader and former opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who challenged Bukhari’s appointment. Bukhari has been in office for 20 months. A five-judge bench of the court headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani declared that consultation for the appointment of NAB chairman was not made in accordance with Section 6 of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999 and the law declared by the court. The court declared the impugned appointment of Bukhari as one without lawful authority, setting it aside with immediate effect.

The bench also said that the reasons of its short order would be recorded in the detailed judgement. It must be noted that the Supreme Court accepted for the second time the petition of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who in October 2011 challenged the appointment of Bukhari as NAB chairman and earlier in October 2010 challenged the appointment of Justice (r) Deedar Hussain Shah.

Bukhari is the third chief of NAB sent packing through a judicial verdict in less than four years, as earlier the Supreme Court through its judgement on December 16, 2009 against NRO removed Nawid Ahsan as the head of NAB. Bukhari was appointed NAB chief by President Asif Ali Zardari on October 16, 2011, but Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan challenged the decision, saying the appointment was made without consultation with the leader of opposition.

Akram Sheikh, counsel for the ex-opposition leader, had argued that the president only forwarded one name for consultation and Nisar expressed his dissatisfaction, saying more nominations should have been made. The bench rejected the plea of Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir who advised the court to exercise restraint and take a middle course while ruling on the petition. Irfan Qadir argued that the post-November 3, 2007 jurisprudence being practiced by the higher judiciary should be avoided and the important and major appointments should not be struck down through judicial verdicts. The AGP contended that the president was the appointing authority of NAB chairman and could proceed even if the opposition leader did not agree. (Courtesy: Daily Times)

Indian special envoy calls on Nawaz Sharif

LAHORE – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy Satinder K Lambah met Pakistan Muslim League President and prime minister-in-waiting Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on Monday and discussed ways to take forward the dialogue process to address all the issues of concern between the two countries. Satinder K Lambah arrived in Lahore as a follow-up of Indian Prime Minister Singh’s conversation with Nawaz Sharif on May 12 to greet him on his party’s victory in the general elections on May 11 last. The special Indian envoy conveyed warm greetings and good wishes to Nawaz Sharif for his tenure as prime minister of Pakistan on behalf of the Indian Prime Minister. The PML-N chief highly appreciated the gesture. During the meeting, both the leaders discussed ways and means to take the dialogue process forward in order to address all issues as well as to promote peace, friendship and cooperation between the two South Asian neighbours.
Nawaz Sharif also conveyed his deep appreciation for Dr Singh’s message, the statement issued after the meeting. (Courtesy: Nation)