Senate panel to probe high spending on power plants

Published: December 30, 2016
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Committee members proposed a briefing by company heads through video links instead of attending the meetings in order to save expenses. PHOTO: FILE

Committee members proposed a briefing by company heads through video links instead of attending the meetings in order to save expenses. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Expressing concern over high spending on setting up three power plants – Nandipur power project, Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric power project and Sahiwal power plant, a parliamentary panel has decided to investigate the extra expenditures.

The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power, chaired by Senator Taj Haider, formed a three-member committee to look into the increased spending on the three power plants. The sub-committee, to be chaired by Senator Nauman Wazir, will submit its report in a month.

Officials of the Ministry of Water and Power also briefed the committee on the merit order for operating the power plants.

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They said the government had shut down the plants generating expensive electricity under the merit programme, adding the three power plants were also staying closed at present due to expensive power generation.

The committee was informed that power plants were being operated keeping in view the demand and supply of electricity.

Power ministry officials said consumers in areas where power theft was high and bill recoveries stood low were facing load-shedding. They pointed out that 2,083 cases had been registered against the consumers involved in power theft.

The Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) has registered 480 FIRs against the people involved in power theft.

During the meeting, committee members proposed briefings by company heads through video links instead of attending the meetings in order to save expenses. Senator Nauman Wazir argued that attending the meetings was a waste of money.

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Power ministry officials said the ministry had been conducting meetings with the heads of power companies through video links.

The committee members noted that K-Electric was neglecting those consumers whose tariff was low and was not providing electricity to shanty towns. It observed that K-Electric was depriving these areas of electricity to provide electricity to the elite.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2016.

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