Payables/receivables: Govt offered to seek resolution of dispute thru ICA, KE CEO tells Senate panel
ISLAMABAD: K-Electric’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi Monday testified before a Senate panel that the power utility has offered the government to resolve the issue of outstanding payables/receivables from International Court of Arbitration (ICA) but the authorities are reluctant fearing that they will lose the case.
He revealed this at a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Power, headed by Senator Saif Ullah Abro, who expressed reservations at the CEO KE in the previous meeting for not ensuring his presence. However, in the last meeting, Additional Secretary Power Division assured Chairman Standing Committee that he would ensure his presence in the next meeting.
“We have asked to take the matter to the International Court of Arbitration but the government is not ready because they will lose the case there,” said Alvi. He said, a few issues delayed the deal with the government.
The CEO KE informed the Committee that according to his company’s position, it has to receive Rs 475 billion from the government and its entities against payables of Rs 397 billion, which implies that the government owes Rs 78.3 billion of power utility company. However, Secretary Power Rashid Langrial said the government has objection to international arbitration as the government thinks its due amount is Rs 75 billion.
The CEO KE briefed the committee that K-Electric was privatized in 2005. Presently, the government has 24.6 percent stake in K Electric. The Board of Directors consists of three directors from the Government of Pakistan. The BoD is nominated by the government itself.
Replying to a question about KE’s own generation, the CEO informed the committee initially the power utility company was told to set up its own plants but later was asked to purchase power from the government.
“Our view is that we have to receive Rs 457 billion from K Electric and pay Rs 408 billion. Our problem is not money… the real problem is the interest, which is Rs 117 billion. 46% of electricity is being supplied to K-Electric every month for which the bill is not being paid,” said Secretary Power. However, the CEO KE clarified that KE does not include interest in liabilities.
Chairman standing Committee remarked that KE’s Power purchase Agreement PPA has not been renewed since 2015.
While briefing by CEO, K-Electric on the status of renewal of agreement between Govt. of Pakistan and K-Electric, the Standing Committee recommended that a detailed in-camera briefing on the K-Electric including its privatisation process, performance and working, status update on distribution and generation and the pending issues between the government of Pakistan, be given in the next meeting.
The Senate Committee while discussing the Point of Public Importance regarding “Provision of jobs to the candidates who qualified the recruitment test of Pesco,” raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan in the Senate sitting held on October 7, 2022, the committee was informed that Power Division directed all the DISCOs that the recruitment process, frozen against the posts of Assistant Director/Junior Engr. & revenue officers (BPS-17), may be continued subject to the condition that fresh interviews be conducted for all candidates interviewed previously. The committee was apprised that accordingly, the interviews were conducted.
The committee was informed that since the recruitment process became doubtful the ministry decided that in order to further expedite the process, the process should be outsourced (NTS) only to the extent of the written test.
However, the committee was not satisfied with the answers of the official, and kept the matter pending; it was also recommended the process of recruitment and joining of the SDOs/AMs must also remain pending till the committee obtains clarity on the matter. The committee also sought the agreement, the listed and short-listed candidates and the transparency report.
While discussing the consideration of Public Petition No PP-4964 regarding “Regularization of the Employees recruited in FESCO as LS-I & SSO-I through advertisement in 2015-2016,” referred by Chairman Senate, the committee was apprised that Power Division has directed that no employee working on contingent/daily wages/contractual basis etc. in any DISCO may be regularised. Due to this instant ban on the regulation, LS-I/SSO-I and other staff appointed since 2015-16 fulfilling criteria, could not be regularised.
While taking up the point of public petition No. PP-4963 regarding “Gepco advertise 20 percent promotion induction quota on lump sum pay package instead of regular promotion induction like in Lesco & Fesco,” referred by the Chairman Senate, the committee was further informed that the induction cases of regular employees will be considered at par with regular employees to protect their service benefits, the induction examination will be through third party induction agency.
The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held at Parliament Lodges, Islamabad under the chairmanship of Senator Saifullah Abro along with the members Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada, Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Senator Sana Jamali. Officials from the ministry and KE were also present.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022