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No relief in outages despite Rs480b payment to IPPs

The Senate’s sub-committee on Water and Power has shown serious concerns over the non-reduction of power outages in the country despite paying huge amount of Rs 480 billion to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) under the head of circular debt.

The Senate’s sub-committee on Water And Power, which met under the chair of Senator Maula Bakhsh Chandio, has noted that masses are still facing long-hour power outages despite government has cleared the circular debt worth of Rs 480 billion recently. The committee noted that ministry has not taken anything from IPPs after paying billion of rupees, and electricity situation has even worsened in some areas. The committee members were of the view that government seems helpless against the IPPs. The legislative body has directed the ministry of water and power to provide details of sources of payment made to the IPPs. Similarly, the committee also asked to provide on the power generation, shut down, power transmission lines, line losses and upgradation. The government should provide the terms and conditions of the agreements signed with IPPs in 1994 and 2002, asked the committee members.

The Senate body was informed that circular debt is once again accumulating due to difference in cost of production and sale price of electricity. The committee was briefed that loadshedding could be controlled if the government provide payment to IPPs regularly.

The legislative body has observed that ministry of water and power; NEPRA and National Transmission and Distribution Company (NTDC) did not seem interested in resolving the power crisis of the country. The committee members said that government and parliament are helpless against these Viceroy Institutions (water and power, NTDC and NEPRA). The Senate body also asked about total power generation through IPPs during last three years and inquired about their actual capacity.

The sub-committee expressed displeasure over the absence of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) and Sukkar Electric Supply Company (SESCO) chiefs and directed them to appear in the next meeting. The committee has also sought detailed report on the HESCO and SESCO power lines losses, expenditure and generation capacity. The committee also sought detailed reports on the measures to upgrade the transmission network in Hyderabad and Sukkar. The committee also expressed dissatisfaction over the progress work of ongoing projects in Hyderabad and Sukkar.

Senator Nisar Muhammad said that IPPs should produce power at their full capacity and continue power generation when government has cleared their due amounts. He further said that officials of water and power and NTDC failed to answers regarding details of IPPs payment. Senator Nisar Muhammad told representatives of NTDC to apprise the committee with correct information and disinformation will not be tolerated. Senator Khalida Perveen in her remarks said that power outages could not reduce despite government had paid Rs 480 billion to IPPs recently. She was of the view that government would have to make further payment for power generation.

Convener Maula Bakhsh Chandio said that after up-gradation of transmission lines power outages in HESCO has not reduced so far and people are suffering. He said that billion of rupees have been spent on up gradation of system but no visible change has been seen so far.

Earlier, Managing Director NTDC briefed the committee on the current power generation of IPPs.

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