ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has asked private power companies to submit their responses by December 6 on allegations of massive corruption in rental power projects levelled by the Transparency International in one of its reports.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a suo motu case along with the pleas regarding allegations of corruption in contract of rental power projects and the government’s decision to increase electricity tariffs.
During the hearing, Khawaja Tariq Rahim, the counsel for Wapda and the now-dissolved Pepco submitted that the electricity produced by rental power projects will cost Rs14 per unit.
The chief justice remarked that consumers would have to pay Rs18 per unit for this electricity.
When Tariq Rahim responded by saying that the government was already providing subsidy on electricity and consumers would get the electricity at “current rates”, Justice Ramday said that the burden of subsidy would ultimately fall on the consumers, because it would be given from taxpayers’ money.
The court directed Wapda’s counsel to submit a reply to the Transparency International report which details instances of huge corruption in rental project contracts.
He, however, sought more time for examining the report and preparing a reply, which the court allowed and adjourned the case till December 6.
The court then directed Rahim to prepare a complete synopsis of the rental power projects and produce it before the court on next hearing, besides providing complete infrastructure of the rental projects.
He was further directed to tell the court that how much money the government had spent on 19 rental power projects. The chief justice asked him that what necessitated the government to buy electricity at such high rates, adding that this burden will ultimately be shifted to general consumers.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2010.
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