Finalize electric vehicle policy in two weeks: PM
Billing the Thar Coal as a project of national interest, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed on Friday the federal government’s commitment to extend every possible support to make it successful. He was chairing a high-level meeting on the Thar coal reserves and their utilisation at the PM House in the capital. PM Khan said the Thar Coal is an important asset of the country, which was neglecting in the past. He added Thar’s coal will be helpful in meeting the energy needs of the country. He was briefed about projects of public welfare, including health, education, skill development of local people, and afforestation in Thar, being implemented under the Thar Foundation. The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company briefed the prime minister about mining in Thar. He was informed that the first phase of Block-II of Thar Coal has been completed, while work on the second phase is underway. Power plants are being setup to fulfill energy requirements of the country by utilising Thar coal in various phases. Moreover, Prime Minister IKhan directed the Ministry of Climate Change to finalise an electric vehicle policy in the next two weeks and present it before the federal cabinet for approval. He gave these directions while chairing a high level meeting on climate change in Islamabad. The prime minister was informed that the main reason behind environmental pollution in Punjab province is smoke emitted by vehicles. During the meeting, officials of the ministry stressed the need for promotion of electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. Besides, they said these vehicles will not only help cut oil import bill but also address issues stemming from climatic changes. The prime minister was also briefed about the steps taken to combat smog in Punjab province and the impact of climate changes in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. PM Khan emphasised the need for coordination amongst the federal and provincial institutions to respond effectively to any flood like situation in the summer season. The meeting was informed that a ban will be imposed on the use of plastic bags in the federal capital territory from 14th August this year. Rules and regulations to this effect have already been framed. Progress made so far on the ten billion tree plantation campaign was also discussed in the meeting. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday thanked Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan for releasing 572 Pakistani prisoners. We value the kind gesture of the United Arab Emirates government, Imran Khan said in a statement. He said the measure taken by the UAE government would help in stabilizing the bilateral relations. On May 16, the United Arab Emirates had agreed to release as many as 572 Pakistani inmates languishing in the country’s prisons, the Foreign Office had said.