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More budget, staff demanded for PCRET.

Islamabad -- Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology in a meeting held here Tuesday called upon the government to enhance Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET)'s budget and patronize it to achieve the goal of clean and green energy which is the need of the hour.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mushtaq Ahmad at the head office of PCRET.

Speaking during the meeting, Senator Mushtaq Ahmad lamented that 18th Amendment is being used as a bailout package to avoid ownership and responsibility by institutions thus further exacerbating public woes and hardships.

PCRET is an important institution but lack of patronage and support from the government has paralyzed it to the extent where PCRET is struggling for its survival, he said.

Briefing about overall functioning and performance of the council, PCRET Director General, Dr Baqir Raza informed that the council is mandated to conduct research, developed, promote and disseminate renewable energy technologies; however, its is constrained in functioning with full swing due to financial and human resource limitations.

He informed that more than 50% of the technical posts are vacant and hardships are also being faced in career growth of the staff.

He also pointed out that no allocation has been made in PSDP since 2007 and the research and development budget is merely Rs16.00 million which is not sufficient to carry out research and development activities. The committee was informed that recruitment rules have been submitted to Ministry of Science and Technology for approval and no DPC meeting has been convened since 2006 leaving a demoralizing impact on the staff waiting for promotions and further career growth.

He said the institution has a future plan to act as Centre of Excellence for renewable energy technologies function as national technical advisory body for government and provincial energy departments.

The committee expressed astonishment to know that such an important institution remained continuously neglected by successive governments.

Chairman of the committee said conventional methods of producing energy have changed enormously and there is a need to diversify our efforts to meet our energy needs from other potential resources which are less harmful to the environment.

He said Pakistan is blessed with different resources through which we can produce huge quantity of energy.

The committee proposed to PCRET to develop strong linkages with relevant industries and coordination with other institutions to effectively achieve its goals and objectives.

The committee also proposed solarization of all the government buildings and reliance of government offices on renewable energy options.

It also sought details of the cases of promotions, litigation and inquires due to which the institution is facing hardships in its functionality and growth.

Discussing a starred question asked by Senator Agha Shahzeb Durrani in Senate regarding action prescribed for manufacturers of beverages and fizzy drinks in case of their failure to maintain quality standards, the Committee termed it unfortunate on the part of Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) for succumbing to the pressures of manufacturers and failure in controlling the sub-standards beverages.

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Publication:Pakistan Observer (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 2, 2019
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