For all its reservations regarding the handover of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the provincial government on Monday responded favourably in an official letter sent to the premier.
Speaking at a press briefing following a cabinet meeting held under the chair of the chief minister, K-P Information Minister Shah Farman said they were committed to their stance of taking over power sector assets “along with the necessary paraphernalia.”
Similarly, a letter from Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, addressed separately to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Federal Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Asif, appreciates the “sense of accommodation shown in agreeing in principle with transferring power sector assets to the provincial government”.
It further adds: “We fully and unequivocally endorse the statement of PTI Chairman Imran Khan regarding taking over of the power sector assets, including Pesco, along with the necessary paraphernalia.”
The letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, states: “You would agree with me that the centralised power system has not been able to deliver, thus, all three elements including generation, distribution and transmission must be given under the control of the provincial government in an all-encompassing package deal.”
In his letter to Khawaja Asif, the chief minister suggested a committee of experts representing the federal and provincial governments be constituted to work out the details of the transfer in accordance with the terms of reference (ToR), which include:
“Alongside transferring the generation and transmission facilities situated within K-P, the federal government may not only hand over Pesco free of all past liabilities, losses and debts, with a clean balance sheet, but shall also ensure that at the time of transfer all the inequities in past investments are fully addressed.
Pending a comprehensive but intelligently phased energy loss reduction (ELR) programme, to be undertaken by K-P government to bring down Pesco losses from current 56% to at least the national average of 18% once the DISCO [distribution company] stands transferred, the federal government shall stand committed to pick the burden/onus of these losses for at least five years.
“All ongoing extension programmes, funded by the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), shall continue as per the original plan and existing sources of funding. And to compensate the lean winter months, the federal government shall guarantee supply of at least 1000MWs to the province from other thermal sources for seven years, in line with the Karachi Electric Supply Company model.
“K-P government shall be at liberty to run the power sector facilities, including distribution companies, on optimally required human resource only, and all surplus staff/employees shall be absorbed/adjusted by the federal government in other federal entities.
“Province must be excluded from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s regulatory regime; province shall be enabled through necessary legislation, amendments in statutory framework, regulatory regime and changes in various power policies to effectively run and manage the affairs of the province’s
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2013.
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