ISLAMABAD: The Karachi Electric Supply Company’s (KESC) anti-consumer policies came under fire once again in the Senate on Thursday, when a key lawmaker of the Pakistan Peoples Party termed the power company ‘economic terrorist’.
The KESC administration was on the receiving end of Senator Raza Rabbani’s harangue during the eighth sitting of the upper house.
“The KESC management has become an economic terrorist. The company is fleecing the people of Karachi by transferring billions of rupees of profit to its foreign accounts,” claimed Rabbani, who had earlier asked the government to take over the company
as its management had failed to meet contractual obligations.
He was responding to a rebuttal KESC had given, defending itself against the senator’s earlier criticism. “Rabbani’s allegations are baseless,” the company said, urging the government to play its role in ensuring regular supply of electricity to consumers by getting government entities to pay billions in debt.
“The power company owes Rs55 billion to the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and other power generation companies,” said Senator Rabbani. “KESC also owes Rs36.775 billion to the Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited for the last two years,” added the senator.
During Tuesday’s session, lawmakers had demanded action against the KESC management. Muttahida Qaumi Movement senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi had demanded that the names of the top KESC officials be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) so that they could not escape with ‘looted money’.
In response, Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar had assured the House that the licence of the company could be revoked if its management “does not mend its ways.”
During the question hour on Thursday, the House passed a motion against the secretaries of foreign affairs, finance, cabinet division, production and commerce, for not replying to questions posed by Senators.
Chairman of the Senate referred the privilege motion regarding ministerial absence to the Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges.
Rabbani, while submitting privilege motion against federal secretaries, said that it was breach of lawmakers’ privileges when the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, commerce and other departments failed to submit replies to Parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2012.
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