ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Power has directed Power Division to suspend Board of Directors (BoD) of Central Power Generation Company Limited (CPGCL) and send their case to an authorized probe agency for not taking action against alleged officials responsible for damage to GT-14 of 747 MW Guddu Combined Cycle Plant.
Presided over by Senator, Saifullah Abro, the committee held that the Board is responsible for financial loss of Rs 40 billion to the national exchequer which includes loss of $ 32 million to GT 14 plant and Rs 30 billion loss in economic terms.
The Committee, attended by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, Senator, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator, Fida Muhammad, Senator, Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Senator, Zeeshan Khanzada and Senator, Sana Jamali supported Chairman Standing Committee in recommending Power Division to send the case of Guddu plant to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) or Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), whichever is the authorized investigation agency as the Board is also complicit in this case.
The Committee observed that CPGCL Board members, who are now too old, are sitting in different boards of GHCL since 2004.
“Send me compliance of Committees’ directives today positively,” directed Chairman Standing Committee to Additional Secretary Shakeel Qadir Khan who assumed charge on Monday and was not aware of power sector’s issues.
He apologized on a couple of occasions for his ignorance of prevalent power sector issues and promised to brief the Committee in its coming meetings.
The Committee also directed Power Division to terminate Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Genco Holding Company Limited (GHCL) Muhammad Imran, who was present in the Committee meeting despite being suspended by the Power Division.
Chairman Standing Committee, who did not allow the “suspended” CEO GHCL to speak during meeting, accused him of extending his term by “managing” the Board.
“The suspended CEO GHCL is sitting in the committee meeting, which is slap on the face of the Power Division which issued his orders,” Chairman Committee remarked.
Abro in a taunting way stated that when the Prime Minister can complete the Metro Bus project in three days and wants to complete Diamer Basha project in a few months, then why is the CEO GHCL not under his control?
The Committee, dominated by PTI Senators, was furious at the absence of Minister of Power, Khurram Dastgir Khan and Secretary Power, Rashid Mehmood Langrial and sought presence of both in the meeting of the Standing Committee. Power Division’s team informed the Committee that Secretary was in Finance Ministry to discuss the strategy for the seventh IMF review.
Senator Shibli Faraz, who is the author of a report on IPPs, commented that energy sector is one of the top two or three issues of the country adding that the power sector has mortgaged sovereignty of the country, which is against the interest of Pakistan.
Senior Joint Secretary Power Division suggested that the government should not be involved in commercial activity and handover the power sector to the private sector.
On the issue of extension of over 360 days in PPA to Kot Addu Power Company (KAPCO) Chairman Senate Committee directed Chairman NEPRA to share the regulator’s correspondence with the Power Division/ CPP-G on extension in the pact without its approval.
Chairman NEPRA briefed that the government reached an out of court settlement with the company to avoid payment of Rs 90 billion and is getting electricity without making capacity payments.
He also stated that the main reason for load shedding in the country is non-payment to power companies by the government.
He maintained that presently installed capacity is 38,000 MW but generation is around 18000 MW as power plants are not being paid their energy claims.
During discussion, Chairman Standing Committee claimed that the incumbent government has started uninterrupted electricity even on those feeders in Sindh where losses are 100 per cent.
According to an official statement, the Committee was briefed on matters related to promotions from LS-II to Assistant Engineers, revision of tariffs by NEPRA and extension of KAPCO contract up to October 2022. It also took up the matter of actions to be taken up against CEO GHCL, Members of Board of Directors (BODs) GHCL & JPCL related to Independent Inquiry Report of construction and damage of 747MW (GT-14 plant).
The Committee showed serious concern regarding inaction of the BOD against those involved in the damage of the 747MW (GT-14 plant). Referring to letters that were sent out on March 31, 2022, with directives of suspending those involved in the damage of 747MW Plant, the Committee showed displeasure against non-implementation of instructions and directed the Power Division to take immediate action.
The Committee termed the BoD complicit to the massive irregularity and said that the matter must be thoroughly investigated and legal action must be taken against all concerned.
The Additional Secretary Ministry of Energy (Power Division) assured the Committee of compliance.
While reviewing the matter of promotion of SEs, LS-II to Assistant Engineer in all DISCOs the Committee was informed that all related procedures, as per GHCL letter of May 9, 2022 & 10 May, 2022, would be complied by all DISCOs by the end of this month. The Committee directed that a Compliance Report must be submitted to the Committee in this regard.
Discussing Chairman NEPRA stance on petition pending before NEPRA for revision of tariff of GENCO-I and an update regarding the recommendation of the Committee for operating the GENCO-I Power Plant on LNG instead of Furnace Oil, the Committee was informed that there were three options: RLNG, RFO and Gas.
The matter of circular debt was taken up and the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) was directed to submit a circular debt report to the Committee every month with comparison with corresponding months during the tenure of the previous government.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022