National kitty bearing brunt of ‘past regimes mistakes’

Energy minister says corrupt practices detected in every single IPP contract inked by previous govts


Our Correspondent February 19, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Federal Minister for Energy Omer Ayub Khan on Friday said that the incumbent government was clearing liabilities of the previous regimes in the power sector that had been resulting in huge losses to the national exchequer.

Taking part in a debate in the National Assembly regarding inflation, he said that the previous government had somehow planted "landmines" in the foundation of economy.

He said that the annual capacity payment to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) was Rs185 billion in 2013, Rs468 billion in 2018 and Rs860 billion in 2020, and it would surpass Rs1,455 billion in 2023.

“Corrupt practices have been detected in every single contract signed by previous governments,” Ayub said, adding that the incumbent government had now eliminated corrupt practices in contracts.

The minister pointed out that there were foreign exchange reserves of only two weeks by the end of the PML-N tenure, adding that when the PPP completed its term, there were two months of forex reserves.

He said that exports, which were declining during the previous regimes, had now started showing an upward trend due to the vibrant policies of the incumbent government.

“The government is pursuing pro-business policies, which are being appreciated by the business community,” the energy minister said, adding that the large scale manufacturing was now witnessing growth of 14.50%.

The minister said the previous government allowed setting up of expensive power plants, ignoring indigenous resources of energy, while the incumbent government was focusing on exploiting the potential of renewable energy to produce inexpensive electricity. “The agreement signed with the IPPs will help save Rs800 billion.”

On the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar appreciated the National Assembly speaker for conducting the session amicably and urged the opposition to avoid following double standards.

(With input from APP)

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