PM Shehbaz Announces Solar-Powered Tube Well Package for Baluchistan Farmers

PM Shehbaz Announces Solar-Powered Tube Well Package for Baluchistan Farmers

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced a significant initiative to solarise 28,000 tube wells in Balochistan. This project aims to provide farmers with a more affordable electricity solution, supported by both federal and provincial governments. The solarisation program is part of the government’s broader efforts to promote sustainable energy and reduce the financial burden on the state’s resources.

Program Cost and Implementation

The solarisation programme is estimated to cost Rs55 billion, with the federal government covering 70 per cent of this expense. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed confidence that the project will be implemented within three months. This swift implementation is crucial to ensure that farmers benefit from the initiative as soon as possible.

Current Issues with Tube Wells

Currently, the 28,000 tube wells in Balochistan are connected to the power grid but are only operational for short intervals during the day. This limited activity significantly impacts farmers’ productivity as they cannot rely on a consistent power supply for their irrigation needs.

Financial Losses and Subsidies

The prime minister highlighted that due to non-payment of electricity bills, the state suffers substantial financial losses, amounting to between Rs70bn and Rs80bn in revenue. Additionally, the government has to pay Rs500bn to cover these costs, which is a significant financial burden.

PM Shehbaz Announces Solar-Powered Tube Well Package for Baluchistan Farmers

Transition to Solar Power

By transitioning to solar power, the government aims to reduce these financial losses. Solar power is the cheapest source of energy globally, and by providing farmers with solar panels, they will have a more reliable and affordable electricity supply. This move is expected to greatly benefit the agricultural sector in Balochistan.

Commitment to Implementation

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif praised Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti for his dedication to the programme, acknowledging that implementing it within three months is a challenging task. The success of this initiative depends on the commitment and efforts of the provincial administration.

Structural Change and Economic Benefits

The solarisation project is expected to bring about significant structural changes in Balochistan’s agricultural sector. By providing cheaper and more reliable electricity, the project will enhance agricultural productivity and contribute to the province’s economic development.

Future Plans for Tube Wells

Looking ahead, the government plans to transition one million tube wells nationwide away from oil. This move will save significant amounts on oil imports, further promoting sustainable energy practices across Pakistan.

Provincial Development and Contribution

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized the importance of Balochistan in Pakistan’s overall progress. He highlighted Punjab’s substantial contributions to the province, particularly through the 2010 National Finance Commission award, demonstrating the inter-provincial support for Balochistan’s development.

Ongoing Projects and Administration

During his visit, Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on ongoing development projects in Balochistan. They discussed the current state of provincial administration and law and order, underscoring the government’s commitment to improving the region’s infrastructure and governance.

Ensuring Security

Security is a critical concern for the success of development projects in Balochistan. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed the importance of ensuring effective security measures and taking action against terrorism to foster a safe environment for economic growth and development.

Gwadar’s Future

Gwadar is poised to become a major global port, significantly contributing to Pakistan’s economy. China’s investments in building an airport and a hospital in Gwadar are part of broader efforts to enhance its competitiveness. The prime minister condemned attacks on installations as detrimental to Pakistan and Balochistan’s progress, highlighting the importance of protecting these strategic assets.

Related FAQs

  1. What is the cost of the solarisation programme in Balochistan?
    • The programme costs Rs55 billion, with the federal government covering 70 per cent.
  2. How many tube wells will be solarised in Balochistan?
    • A total of 28,000 tube wells will be solarised.
  3. What are the current issues with the tube wells in Balochistan?
    • They are connected to the power grid but only active for short intervals, affecting farmers.
  4. What financial losses are incurred due to non-payment of electricity bills?
    • The state loses between Rs70bn and Rs80bn in revenue and pays Rs500bn to cover costs.
  5. How will solarisation benefit farmers in Balochistan?
    • Farmers will pay very little for electricity as solar is the cheapest power source.
  6. What is the expected timeline for implementing the solarisation programme?
    • The implementation is expected to be completed in three months.
  7. What future plans are there for tube wells nationwide?
    • Plans include transitioning one million tube wells away from oil.
  8. Why is security important for Balochistan’s progress?
    • Ensuring effective security is crucial for prosperity and eliminating terrorism will benefit the province.
  9. What potential does Gwadar have as a global port?
    • Gwadar is expected to be a major source of income and a significant global port.
  10. How has Punjab contributed to Balochistan’s development?
    • Punjab has provided substantial funding through the 2010 National Finance Commission award.

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