With arms wide open?: K-P govt welcomes move to hand over PESCO

Asks centre to sustain losses for at least five years.


Abdur Rauf December 30, 2013
K-P Information Minister Shah Farman said they were committed to their stance of taking over power sector assets “along with the necessary paraphernalia.” PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR:


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
power system.”


Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2013.

COMMENTS (4)

SU Khattak | 8 years ago | Reply

The transfer of PESCO to KPK is as simple or complex as any person would like it to be. It has little to do with making life easier for the KPK people by the Punjab-based centre who would like to siphon off as much from other provinces for Punjab as possible before they get caught. East Pakistan became Bangladesh precisely for this reason!! PTI in KPK is correct in demanding back resources belonging to the people there. The situation needs to change before KPK becomes KPKstan. The people there are fed up with the provinces with the largest populations and correspondingly highly incompetent and corrupt leaders bleeding the rest of the smaller bits of the federation dry, and defying their rightful share of resources. PM Nawaz should get his brother to stop filling his pockets with Punjabi share and sort his energy issues for his poor province and stop controlling other provinces' resources for his very personal gain. Is it any wonder the Sharif family do so well out of politics? Ps: I'd be surprised if my anti- PC comments above are published here. Truth hurts I'm afraid!

Syed Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

ET's bias is incredible. Imran Khan or the PTI never said they are interested in PESCO. They said they are ready to take PESCO PROVIDED all generation and transmission of and from the province is also handed to them. Only an idiot would be express willingness to accept the distribution and bill collection responsibility without control of generation and other profitable aspects. The PML-N deliberately and cheekily tried to twist the issue as if it was about PESCO. It never was. Its also incredible that ET is trying to present the KPK clarification as after thoughts or additional conditions instead of pointing out the cheekiness of the PML-N. Its clear that ET readers have also fallen for this nonsense and propaganda. The PTI are not idiots that they would demand handover of a loss-maker only!

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