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LAHORE: The Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has constituted a four-member committee to prepare a brief on financial, technical and commercial highlights of the distribution companies (DISCOs) for privatization purposes.

A copy of the office order issued in line with the cabinet committee on privatization (CCOP) decision on privatization of DISCOs is available with Business Recorder which points out that the committee has been constituted on the letter both from the ministry of energy (power division) and Privatization Commission's office of the ministry of privatization. The committee consists of Saghir Ahmed, consultant, as team leader, Imtiaz Ahmed, CEO PITAC, Basharat Ali, CFO PEPCO, and Sajjad Ali, Deputy Director PEPCO as members.

So far as the terms of reference (ToRs) of the committee are concerned, the ministry of privatization (Privatization Commission) has required brief comprising financial, technical and commercial highlights of DISCOs and different documents required for privatization.

It is further required that the committee should prepare and submit its report within one week. It may be noted that there is an immense pressure on the government to privatize DISCOs in order to get rid of their inefficiencies, leading to abnormal levels of circular debt, likely to soar to Rs 4 trillion a year by 2025.

While addressing a webinar a few weeks back, Director Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Dr Fiaz Ch had urged the government to fix the power sector while extending autonomy to DISCOs under an independent regulatory body. The government is also in the process of studying the Turkish model for reforming the energy sector.

The PEPCO sources have further pointed out that privatization of K-Electric has proved a success story as the company has overcome its transmission and despatch losses after investing heavily on this front. They have termed the constitution of a committee a step in the right direction, saying that an early privatization of power sector would improve the efficiency of power sector in general.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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