ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat criticised K- Electric for the long hours of loadshedding being faced by the people of Karachi and “violation” of its agreement to provide 1,200 MW electricity to the city.
The committee met with Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad in the chair at the Parliament House Tuesday.
The Committee discussed supply of electricity to Karachi, performance of Nepra and the PGRA and Public Petition PPP-3745 pertaining to the PTDC submitted by Malik Muhammad Khan.
Senator Kamil Ali Agha claimed, while discussing loadshedding in Karachi, that KE is violating the agreement signed with the government for providing 1,200 WM electricity to the city.
“KE is making money while the people of Karachi are living in miserable condition due to long hours of load shedding. The KE under the agreement should have increased its capacity within six months but it could not do so. The KE is taking money from both citizens of Karachi and the federal government but it is not providing electricity under the agreement. The government has to force KE to implement the agreement,” he claimed.
“I am astonished. In the past it was said Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari is backing KE. But now the situation is the same, and who is backing it now. There is a need to review the agreement with the KE,” Agha said.
Nepra Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi said that there is a need to improve the governance system of DISCOs and their relations with the customers.
He said that the DISCOs should be privatised.
On the response of the Chairman Nepra, Committee Chairman Rana Maqbool Ahmad and Senator Agha said that the KE is also a private company and its performance is very bad.
“There is no need to privatise the DISCOs but there is a need to improve their performance,” they said.
The committee also sought a detailed report about the compensation to people killed in transformer blasts in Karachi and Hyderabad in the next meeting.
The committee members also showed resentment on the poor working of the WAPDA office /authorities.
The Committee members discussed in detail the problem of load and functioning of the transformers, leaving the common public in pain and agony.
The chairman Committee directed the Nepra officials to prepare a report within a fortnight on the initiatives taken on over billing and repair of transformers in order to solve the problems of the public.
He also urged the chairman Nepra to improve performance of his department, which is far from satisfactory.
While briefing on the redressal of complaints and enforcement activities (Oil, LPG and CNG), the chairman OGRA apprised the Committee members that a formal website has been designed to register online complaints.
He further informed the Committee that complaints can also be registered through phone calls, which are received by the registrar of the relevant province and forwarded to the Delegatory Officer (DO); the complaint is to be resolved within 90 days, which decision is binding for the affected. The committee was informed that 2,763 million complaints have been given relief.
The committee was also informed that 1,137 complaints have been received through Clean and Green Pakistan out of which 1,000 are oil complaints and 137 are CNG-related complaints.
The committee chairman asked to set a criterion in order to seek whether or not such services have increased or decreased the satisfaction of the common public.
Committee Chairman Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed asked the Ogra chairman as to what is the wisdom in recommending increase of Rs10 to 15 in prices of petrol and diesel, which is later, reduced by the government thereby, adding insult to the injuries of the common people.
He said that the price hike in LPG within two weeks is considered a matter of serious concern.
The Ogra officials informed that the LC evaluates the price relying on the International Crude Market, along with variable taxes. The committee was informed that the Ogra has been given mandate by the Federal Government to notify the prices of kerosene.
The committee members lamented that the high octane product has not been given in one price on different petrol stations. Senator Agha said that the common man has to compromise on the quality as well as the quantity.
The officials informed the committee that 70 percent petroleum and 40 percent diesel is imported. New refinery policy is also being introduced in order to redress such complaints, the officials said.
Senator Engr Rukhsana Zuberi raised the point on the grant of license to the oil industry.
The officials of the Ogra informed the Committee that if the stock cannot be stored above 20 days the license is not been provided.
The committee members stressed that the license which has been granted under certain term and conditions should be fulfilled and violation of the same shall result in revocation of the license by the issuing authority.
The chairman Committee emphasised assisting in the provision of legislative power in this regard.
The committee also discussed Gaddani Fish Harbor construction case of Balochistan. It was told to the Committee that a three-member bench of the Supreme Court referred the matter to a Senate Committee three years ago. The Senate Committee had directed the PTDC board meeting held in March 2012 to implement upon the SC direction.
Malik Mohammad Khan told the committee that the money has not been deposited due to non-payment of bribe. He said that the company has lost Rs1.5 billion and the country has lost millions of dollars in fish exports.
The committee chairman deferred the petition for 10th August with the direction to the official of the PTDC to consult the PTDC Board, for a way forward in a legal framework, on the disputed land, and give report in the next meeting for further deliberation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021