ISLAMABAD: A National Assembly panel has recommended Rs193.73 billion worth of development projects in budgetary proposals for the Power Division for next financial year 2018-19, which will start in July.
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Energy met under the chairmanship of MNA Chaudhry Bilal Ahmed Virk.
Discussing implementation of its previous recommendations, the committee gave directives for framing a centralised procurement policy for the purchase of material for electricity infrastructure development schemes.
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It was apprised that development schemes being carried out under the Prime Minister’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programme were facing shortage of required material, leading to delay in their completion due to lengthy procurement procedures and limited number of construction material suppliers.
The committee also took up the proposal of enhancing quota of new domestic gas connections to meet pending demand of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL). It directed the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to step up work on the matter in order to meet public demand.
Ogra Chairperson Uzma Adil clarified that the regulator had received an SNGPL petition for increasing the quota, which was under consideration and decision would be taken within a week.
Power Division Minister Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said 80% of schemes under the SDGs programme would be completed by the end of April. However, hurdles exist in execution of the projects, he said.
He pledged that he would inform the committee about schemes under the SDGs one and two in the next one week.
Leghari acknowledged the absence of a central desk for procurements by power distribution companies, adding only a few suppliers were providing equipment and other material to the power companies.
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He pointed out that power distribution companies had no plan for the procurement of equipment and other material in the next financial year. He promised to inform the committee about details in that regard.
He said the government has completed 96% of schemes under the SDGs programme in the first phase and all power-sector schemes would be completed in the next one month if hurdles were removed.
Parliamentarians complained that development schemes in their constituencies could not be completed as power distribution companies had not the required material.
The minister sought details and pledged to help complete work on the projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2018.
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