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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
27,135
6324hr
Pakistan Cases
1,221,261
2,51224hr
4.4% positivity
Sindh
449,349
Punjab
420,615
Balochistan
32,722
Islamabad
103,923
KPK
170,738

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed Friday that circular debt of Rs538 billion was added in financial year 2019-20, which is an increase of 33 percent from financial year 2018-19.

In a written reply to a question, the minister for power division said that a relief of Rs23.2 billion was given to consumers for payments in installments and deferment of the payments.

“A relief of Rs50.69 billion was provided to pay 3-6 months bills of small and medium enterprises in wake of Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he added.

To a question – whether it is a fact that power sector circular debt is set to cross Rs206 trillion by the end of ongoing fiscal year 2020-21, the minister, in a written reply, said that there is no truth in it.

However, he said that power sector circular debt stood at Rs2,362 billion as on February 28, 2021, adding to ensure effective management of circular debt, the federal government has introduced a circular debt management plan, which will address the flow of the circular debt through effective efficiency improvement measures.

“The Plan intends to reduce the existing flow ofRs538 billion per annum to zero per annum. Further, DISCOs collections are planned to be increased by 5.73 percent and losses are planned to be reduced by2.12 percent through efficiency gains. Collection from government customers will be rationalised and subsidies will be on actual basis and paid according to schedule,” he added.

Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik said that the government is entering into inexpensive agreements with the IPPs.

She said that the government has reduced line losses and significantly enhanced the recoveries.

To a question, in a written reply, the law and justice minister, said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB), during the tenure of the incumbent chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, made recoveries of Rs19.851 billion – through court fines/auction of confiscated properties/rents/arrears, while recoveries made through plea bargain – in cash – is Rs16.202 billion.

“The recoveries made through plea bargain (in-kind): Rs13.913 billion. Indirect recoveries Rs483.404 billion. No amount is retained by NAB itself for disbursement among the functionaries of the bureau,” he added.

Responding to a calling attention notice, the parliamentary secretary for interior, Shaukat Ali, said 39 officials of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) have been suspended for their involvement in issuance of fake computerised national identity cards (CNICs).

He said first information reports (FIRs) have also been registered against 10 officials, while five officials have been arrested.

He said the action against the Nadra officials was taken following a report by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Abdul Akbar Chitrali and others regarding obscenity on TV channels, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has been directed to issue advisory to television channels on the issue.

He said that the Pemra, in accordance with its code of conduct, takes action against indecent and objectionable content.

He said that 335 show-cause notices have also been issued and fine imposed on television channels.

The National Assembly, on Friday, passed two bills, The Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Bill, 2021 and The Special Technology Zones Authority Bill, 2021.

The House passed three resolutions extending the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Ordinance, the Higher Education Commission Amendment Ordinance (IX of 2021), and Higher Education Commission Second Amendment Ordinance (X of 2021) for a further 120 days.

The House offered Fateha for the deceased ex-president Mamnoon Hussain.

The House also offered Fateha for Captain of Pakistan Army Affan Masood and Sepoy Babar Zaman, who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Pasni, Balochistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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