PM Shehbaz Sharif Announces Solarisation of Tube Wells in Balochistan

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has unveiled a transformative initiative to solarise 28,000 tube wells in Balochistan, aimed at providing farmers with affordable electricity. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the federal and provincial governments and is expected to significantly benefit the agricultural sector in the region.

Key Announcements and Figures

Meeting and Agreement

Attendees:

Prime Minister: Shehbaz Sharif

Balochistan Chief Minister: Mir Sarfraz Bugti

Balochistan Governor: Jaffar Khan Mandokhail

Federal Ministers and Officials

Flour Mills Association Representatives: Asim Raza, Majid Abdullah, Iftikhar Mehtu, Khaleeq Arshad, Muhammad Shahid, and Ahmad

Key Agreement:

The agreement on solarising tube wells was signed in the presence of key provincial and federal representatives.

Financial Details

Total Cost: Rs55 billion

Federal Government Contribution: 70%

Implementation Timeline: Expected within three months

Impact on Farmers

Current Situation

Power Supply Issues: Tube wells are currently connected to the power grid but operate for only short intervals (about two hours daily), which severely impacts farming activities.

Non-payment of Bills: Many farmers do not pay their electricity bills, leading to significant financial losses for the government.

Benefits of Solarisation

Continuous Operation: Solar-powered tube wells will run all day, providing consistent water supply for irrigation.

Reduced Costs: Solar energy is the cheapest power source, allowing farmers to pay minimal amounts for electricity.

Elimination of Losses: The initiative will eliminate the Rs70bn to Rs80bn revenue loss and Rs500bn government subsidy currently incurred due to non-payment of bills.

READ MORE: Ehsaas Program Payment Bank ATM Check

PM Shehbaz Sharif Announces Solarisation of Tube Wells in Balochistan

Broader Economic and Social Impact

Addressing Financial Drain

Current Subsidy Issues: PM Shehbaz highlighted that the Rs500bn spent on subsidies is effectively “going down the drain” and could be better invested in the province’s development.

Revenue Loss: The government’s effort to cover unpaid bills has resulted in a significant financial burden.

Solar Panels Installation

Procurement Strategy: The prime minister suggested a “large procurement” of solar panels, potentially through subsidies to farmers to ensure cost efficiency.

Revolutionary Change: This project is expected to bring about deep-rooted structural changes in the region’s agricultural sector.

Future Plans

Transition from Oil: PM Shehbaz mentioned plans to transition one million tube wells nationwide from oil to solar power, potentially saving $3.5bn in oil imports.

Security and Development Concerns

Emphasis on Security

Chinese Concerns: During a recent visit to China, PM Shehbaz learned that Chinese engineers avoid dangerous areas in Pakistan, highlighting the need for improved security.

KP Funding: Punjab has contributed significantly to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s counterterrorism efforts and continues to support Balochistan in this regard.

Development Projects

Gwadar Safe City Project: PM Shehbaz noted that the Safe City Project in Gwadar, previously closed, has been re-awarded and is crucial for the city’s development.

Gwadar’s Potential: Gwadar is expected to become a major global port, generating substantial income and supporting the region’s economic growth.

Provincial Contributions

Punjab’s Role: Punjab has contributed the highest amount to Balochistan’s counterterrorism funding since 2010, pledging Rs150bn over 14 years.

Collaborative Efforts: PM Shehbaz called for unity and wise use of funds to achieve shared development goals.

Conclusion

The solarisation of tube wells in Balochistan represents a major step towards sustainable agriculture and economic stability. This initiative, combined with ongoing security and development efforts, highlights the government’s commitment to the region’s progress. PM Shehbaz’s call for cooperation between the provincial and federal governments underscores the importance of collective action in achieving these ambitious goals.

ALSO READ: Dynamic Survey Update For Installment Payment Start