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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have reattempted to hand over the power distribution companies (Discos) to provinces in order to reap political benefits, said sources.

They said the attempt is in sheer negation of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) which approved implementation of Turkish model of giving the Discos on long-term concessions.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif set up a committee on March 7 for transferring 10 power distribution companies (Discos) to the provinces. They said the Sindh government is also on the board, demanding one point supply and uniform tariff while letting the federal government to make deductions out of provincial share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. They said the premier had decided to constitute this committee out of his the very first few tasks after assuming his charge.

The prime objective behind the move is to dole out new electricity connections to consumers in electoral constituencies, said the sources, adding that some 600,000 applications are lying pending with various Discos besides over 100,000 applications with K-Electric.

According to the sources, the political parties have also planned to allot quotas to their parliamentary members after bringing Discos to the ambit of provincial governments. They said a similar attempt was made during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government of 16 months in recent past. However, the SIF, under the caretaker set up, had decided to opt for the Turkish model of giving the Discos on long-term concessions, which has again been put before the committee to revisit.

Already, the sources said, the political parties had taken over the Boards of Governors (BoGs) of Discos while appointing their sons and nephews as members and let them learn how Discos operate. The sources said these political appointments in BoGs has led to release and install of electricity transformers in Depalpur, Okara, constituencies ahead of recently concluded general elections. Absence of technically sound members in these boards is another problem, leading to excessive pilferage in procurement of material in all the Discos.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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