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Net hydel profit: KP’s requests go unnoticed

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s repeated reminders to Water and Power Development Authority to streamline monthly net hydel profit disbursements and payment of arrears remained unfulfilled, according to official sources.

According to knowledgeable circles, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s net hydel profit arrears payable by Wapda have piled up to Rs8 billion due to inconsistency in monthly payments.

“It has become a regular practice to send written requests every month to Wapda for the timely releases and payment of arrears,” an official said.

The province receives Rs6 billion net hydel profit annually. The payment is supposed to be made in 12 equal monthly installments of Rs500 million each in accordance with an understanding between Wapda and the provincial government.

However, according to official sources, inconsistencies in monthly payments during the past few years have created a backlog, adding new dimension to disputes between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Wapda.

Officials said whatever amount Wapda paid to the province on account of net hydel profit it was adjusted against the previous financial years’ arrears.

Out of the arrears, a sum of Rs2 billion pertains to the July-October period of the current financial year and Rs6 billion is from the 2012-13 financial year.

The delayed payments, according to sources, create accounting problems for the provincial government apart from resulting in financial problems.

According to sources, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab took up the matter of inconsistent monthly payments with the federal authorities concerned. It was decided that Wapda would pay Rs700 million every month to the provinces concerned. The arrangement was meant to streamline the current financial year’s monthly payments and clear the arrears in phases.

Wapda, said an official, complied with the new decision initially and paid Rs700 million for a couple of months. Later, it went back to its old position, exercising inconsistency in monthly payments.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government inherited the issue from its predecessor. The province, according to sources, has not yet made changes to its strategy vis-à-vis finding a way out to thorny disputes with Wapda.

Working relations between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Wapda, according to sources, is one such subject that remains unchanged no matter who is in the provincial government or which political party is in power in the province.

The province has another claim of Rs101 billion arrears payable by Wapda on account of net hydel profit’s delayed disbursements.

The previous federal government agreed to pay Rs110 billion to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a five-year period. The money was payable by Wapda in accordance with the decision of an arbitration tribunal that arbitrated between the power utility and the provincial government over the issue of non-payment of full amount of net hydel profit to the province during a period from 1990-91 to 2004-05.

The provincial government, said an official, had received Rs85 billion till June this year from the federal government and the remaining amount of Rs25 billion was payable in the ongoing financial year.

Now the province wanted Wapda to pay it Rs101 billion arrears over and above the money it got in line with the arbitration tribunal’s decision.

“The Rs101 billion amount has been calculated as interest accumulated against the delayed payment (Rs110 billion),” said the official.As the present government’s repeatedly sent monthly reminders go without catching Wapda bosses’ attention, according to knowledgeable circles, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Rs101 billion additional arrears’ claim is also likely to remain without being noticed.

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