ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said on Thursday that the rental power projects could not be ignored as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had raised serious objections about them in a report. According to the chief justice, the finance ministry also shares responsibility in the rental power policy.
The remarks came during the course of hearing of a suo motu case on the rental power plants.
The counsel for Pepco and the water and power ministry, Khwaja Tariq Rahim, while resuming his arguments before a three-member bench of the apex court, said the purpose of rental power projects was to eliminate load shedding and ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity.
Khwaja Tariq told the court that the ministry had invited tenders from national and international companies for the rental power projects.
However, he said, the contract was cancelled because electricity production was not started.
“The prime minister was not briefed about the tariff that the consumer would have to pay against per unit,” Justice Ramday observed.
However, Khwaja Tariq said that the tariff could not be determined before the bid which is why the prime minister was not briefed about it.
The chief justice observed that the burden of additional power tariffs will eventually affect the general consumer.
“Before one buys anything, a number of shops are visited, prices and standards are compared, whereas in the rental power projects nothing like this happened,” the chief justice observed.
He pointed out that the ADB report raised grave concerns over the projects which could not be ignored, adding that the finance ministry also shares responsibility in the rental power policy.
The court adjourned the hearing for October 29 with directions to the counsel to apprise the court about the number of plants installed, their costs and their capacity for power generation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2010.
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