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ISLAMABAD: The Power Division has submitted 102 development projects for financial year 2023-24 worth Rs 298.5 billion of which 81 projects are ongoing whereas 21 are new schemes.

On Monday,Power Division informed a National Assembly panel that out of a total of 102 projects, one is related to Genco, 62 NTDC, 38 Distribution Companies (Discos) and one Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB).

Of 102 projects, 26 have already been approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec), 25 by Central Development Working Party and 27 by Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) whereas 24 projects/schemes are still unapproved.

The CFO, Power Planning and Monitoring Company (PPMC) informed the panel that out of total proposed allocation of 298.44 billion, Rs 176.48 billion would be foreign funding, while allocation of domestic resources will be Rs 72.46 billion. Government share in total allocation will be of Rs 49.40 billion.

Provinces’ power sector schemes: Rs8.11bn approved by ECC

The meeting was informed that Genco has proposed 2x600 MW coal-fired power project at Jamshoro which was conceived in 2013. ADB funded to conduct feasibility study which was carried out by US Power Consultant LLC USA.

The ADB has approved a loan of $ 688 million of which $ 424 million has been disbursed so far. Loan closing date is June 30, 2023. The debt equity ratio is 70:30.

The project is based on blended coal with 20 per cent lignite and 80 per cent imported coal of sub-bituminous coal and 100 per cent imported sub-bituminous coal if lignite not available. Physical progress in Lot-1, 660MW is 92 percent whereas financial progress is 75 percent.

The officials further noted that some of the companies are investing in the project from their own resources whereas for other projects government extends financial resources. Responding to a question regarding curtailment in expenditure, the official stated that 15 % cut has been proposed in expenses of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of all Discos during 2023-24.

The official maintained that recovery is also expected to be improved by two percent during the current fiscal as Discos have been given revised recovery targets.

National Assembly panel asked the Power Division to work out a mechanism to bring load shedding at micro level instead of shutting down entire feeders. The panel also asked the Ministry to submit a draft of changes to be brought into Electricity Act, 1910 to avert damages caused due to high tension transmission line passing over inhabited areas.

The Panel while discussing the progress on village electrification schemes under SDGs achievement plan, directed Chief Executive Officers of the DISCOs to ensure completion of work on all schemes within stipulated timelines. The panel was apprised by the CEOs of Hesco and Sepco that due to floods in Sindh, most of the land was still inundated, therefore the work cannot be initiated.

While discussing the question referred to the panel regarding violation while lying high tension transmission line, the Committee asked ministry to work on amendments in the Electricity Act, 1910. The Mover apprised the Committee that various instances had been reported causing damage to human life, livestock and property due to high tension lines passing over inhabited areas. The mover also sought details of loss caused to life and property and compensation awarded in that regard.

The Secretary Power apprised that DISCOs and NTDC always comply with regulations while lying transmission lines however in the instance issue, provincial and local authorities fail to get the town planning regulations complied with. He said that proliferation of housing schemes without proper NOCs and safeguards was the major cause behind that.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Farook Janjua Feb 28, 2023 03:00pm
Bad tax law as country's precious foreign exchange will be wasted because of few dirty rich and spoilt brats. Islamabad the personal Capital of bureaucracy, their partners corrupt politicians and their rich friends is a heaven of tax thieves.
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syed najam Hassan Mar 01, 2023 05:57pm
Good to hear that! But would it be a relief for final consumer? Or just a number crunching and increase in national debt which to be borned by general public in the form of I Tax, Sales Tax , fuel adjustment surcharge and so.
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