PM okays Afghan coal import in Pak rupee instead of US dollar


<<PM forms committee for fast completion of model jail project pending for 10 years>>

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken a bold decision and approved the import of super-critical quality coal from Afghanistan in Pakistani currency—rupee—instead of US dollars to generate electricity in Pakistan.
According to the PM Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting to improve the mechanism for transportation of Afghan coal here in Islamabad on Monday.
In the meeting, he expressed concerns over the rising price of coal in the international market and said the rise in coal price was also one of the reasons behind the generation of expensive electricity by the coal power plants operating in Pakistan.
PM Shehbaz viewed that the import of Afghan coal in Pakistani currency would save the foreign exchange.
The prime minister was told that the import of Afghan coal – initially for Sahiwal and Hub power plants – would save around $2.2 billion annually.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the authorities concerned to devise an effective mechanism for the purpose to help generate low-cost power generation and provide relief to the domestic and industrial consumers.
He directed the railway ministry to take all-out measures for swift transportation of coal from Afghanistan to the power plants.
He also instructed the formation of a committee of all relevant departments under Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.
Federal ministers Syed Naveed Qamar, Khawaja Asif, Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Miftah Ismail, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Advisor Ahad Cheema, Minister of State Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday directed the authorities concerned to complete the under-construction model prison in the capital, which has been facing delay for the last 10 years.
Taking notice of the delay, the prime minister formed a six-member committee headed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan by to review the prison project. Other members include Secretaries of the Ministries of Interior, Housing and Planning, the Chief Commissioner Islamabad and the Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA).
The prime minister sought the report from the committee within a week.
The notification of the directive was issued as signed by Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. Tauqeer Shah, the PM Office said.
The construction of Islamabad jail as per international standards and facilities could not be completed due to unavailability of funds.
Due to non-construction of the building, the Islamabad prisoners have been accommodated in Adiala Jail for the last six decades.
The modern 90-acre jail being built in Sector H-16 adjacent to the motorway will house around 2,000 inmates. Schools, mosques, training centers, playgrounds, and Islamabad Capital Territory courts will also be built in the premises.
A training center for prison officials will also be built in the complex.

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