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The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are to request the government to put technical committee on ice until the Inquiry Commission approved by the Cabinet completes its assignment.

The IPPs are facing charges of high profits and cheating with respect to fuel consumption and inflicting over Rs 4 trillion financial loss on the national exchequer during the last 13 years. However, the IPPs have brushed aside the findings of the nine member committee headed by a former Chairman SECP.

The IPPs, sources said, will send a joint letter to the government on the formation of a Commission and rebut every charge of the committee.

President Arif Alvi in an interview with a private television channel stated that he went through the executive summary of the IPPs report and during discussion with the Prime Minister , he asserted that if the report is correct then the country has been 'gang rapped' by a mafia. However, he said that the report was one-sided as IPPs were not heard.

IPPs are of the view that the committee's report has glaring gaps with respect to profits.

The reports says that 16 IPPs invested around Rs 60 billion and earned Rs 600 billion in profits in a period ranging from two to four years. Prime Minister's three cabinet members are also under pressure after the report appeared in the media.

During the first meeting of the committee constituted by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE), Minister for Power, Omar Ayub emphasized on reducing and providing relief in the cost of electricity and resolution in the quantum of capacity payments. The purpose of technical committee is to consult with the IPPs on the proposed reduction in tariff.

Power sector experts are of the view that the committee did not find any violation in implementation of contracts signed with the IPPs and the only way out is to sit with the IPPs across the table and request them to give some concession to the government with respect to capacity payment and tariff and any highhandedness on the part of government will lead the IPPs to go to London Court of Arbitration where IPPs have already won the case.

The sources said, the Power Division has not been able to implement the agreement already prepared after talks with IPPs for two months because it has failed to resolve the issue of M/s Rousch Power which is owned by the family of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest that the government is planning to appoint former judge of Supreme Court Ijaz Afzal Khan as Chairman of the Commission. However, the final decision is expected next week.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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