ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) will withdraw the free electricity facility to the employees of the WAPDA and the DISCOs and replace with a monetization policy to narrow Rs800 billion’s gap between billing and recovery on electricity, Power Secretary Rashid Mahmood Langrial assured the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday.
Noor Alam Khan chaired the meeting of the PAC which examined the Audit Report for the Year 2019-20 of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).
In his ruling, the chairman said the facility of free electricity to WAPDA and DISCOs employees should be immediately discontinued to bridge the huge financial losses which reached Rs1.1 trillion last year.
The committee’s members did not accept the argument of the secretary who stated that the energy sector entities allocated in their budget an amount for supply of free electricity to the employees.
The secretary suggested that through monetization, the energy sector entities would reduce or increase the limits. Secretary said the whole energy sector was a mess and a black hole and needed massive reforms.
He said the expenditure on the supply of electricity was Rs2 trillion which was equal to budgetary allocation to the army and recovery was Rs800 billion because of inefficiency and other reasons.
The secretary maintained out of 28 million domestic consumers, low live line consumers were 18 million and eight million was getting subsidy or 2/3 consumers were subsidized which was not good to run electricity business. The Power Division secretary acknowledged that most of the former employees of K-Electric joined the boards of power companies as members and were from the private sector. He alleged that their interest was limited to perks and privileges. On the directive of the federal minister for energy, he revealed that new boards would soon be reconstituted with new members.
The chairman also directed the officials of the NAB and the FIA to take action against the officials of the NTDC who were reluctant to provide records for audit purposes within one month.
He further said that NTDC’s new managing director (MD) must be appointed within two months through an open competition.
Power Division secretary endorsed the allegations levelled by media reports that board of the NTDC were exercising executive powers.
The secretary further said there was a massive loadshedding despite a 26 percent addition in production this year due to increasing demand. Members committee showed their displeasure over unscheduled loadshedding.
The chairman said the DISCOs must give prior information through media before loadsedding in their respective areas.
While examining the Audit Report for the year 2019-20 of the Ministry of Communications (National Highways Authority), the committee deferred the case pertaining to excess expenditure beyond the validity period of the revised PC-I provision of Rs5.5 billion till the completion of an inquiry.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022