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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Power, Senator Saifullah Abro has accused Power Division of deliberately siding with K-Electric with respect to payment of outstanding receivables of Rs 298 billion.

According to the minutes of Standing Committee meeting held on September 30, 2022, Chairman Committee also took serious notice and showed displeasure at the absence of CEO, K-Electric from the Committee meeting. He had directed Additional Secretary Power Division to ensure presence of CEO KE in the next Committee meeting; otherwise, a summons will be issued in this regard.

However, as CEO KE did not attend the meeting on 13th October of the Standing Committee, Chairman Standing Committee issued his summons through the office of Chairman Senate.

Regarding the status of renewal of agreement between Government of Pakistan and K-Electric and pending payment of circular debt towards K-Electric, the Chairman Committee stated that it was strange that the agreement expired in 2015 and was still not revised.

The Committee has been pushing the matter since June, 2021 but Power Division was still unable to sign the revised agreement for which the Secretary, Power Division had committed time of end November 2021.

Chairman Standing Committee maintained that it seems that officials of Power Division are not interested in concluding their important issues/ business on time and are deliberately employing delaying tactics in this regard. He further stated that circular debt began in 2008 with Rs103 billion pending dues and Rs58 billion to be paid by K-Electric to Government of Pakistan since 2003 but as per previous briefings the circular debt due to K-Electric is Rs298 billion since June 2021.

The Chairman Committee enquired whether the amount was recovered from them. The Additional, Secretary Power noted that Prime Minister has constituted a Task Force headed by former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to resolve issues/ disputes related to K-Electric for improving the power utility’s cash flows and streaming generation of electricity from its power plants. The task of renewal of agreement is also with the Task Force. Chairman Standing Committee had criticized Abbasi during the previous meeting of Standing Committee for awarding contract of LNG terminal to M/s Engro at an exorbitant rate.

The CEO CPPA-G also noted that initially there were some objections regarding the payments mechanism but now an agreement has been reached between the two parties.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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