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National

December 9, 2017

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Underutilisation of IPPs causes Rs28 bn loss, PAC told

Underutilisation of IPPs causes Rs28 bn loss, PAC told

ISLAMABAD: The national kitty sustained a loss of over Rs28 billion for not utilising the maximum capacity of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and its burden was shifted to power consumers while the power generating companies and IPPS did not utilise its maximum capacity to generate power despite the reduction in the prices of furnace oil. They did not increase their maximum capacity resultantly the consumer faced long hours of loadshedding, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told. The department of Auditor General of Pakistan has detected the irregularities of over Rs73 billion in the National Electrical Power Regulation Authority (Nepra).

The PAC held its meeting under its chairman Syed Khursheed Shah. Audit paras relating to Cabinet Division for the year 2016-17 were examined. It was also revealed in the meeting that with increasing the power tariffs, the additional amounts got from the consumers in the shape of over billing while the additional burden of Rs14.5 billion was put on the consumers of K-Electric.

The Audit officials told the committee that K-electric did not generate electricity to the maximum capacity from their plants but purchased electricity from central Power Purchasing Agency at exorbitant rates and this additional burden was shifted to the consumers.

PAC member Dr Arif Alvi remarked that it was regrettable to shift the additional burden to the power consumers and it beats the imagination why the electricity was purchased at expensive tariff for the people of Karachi. ‘The Nepra should check why the K-Electric did not produce maximum power generation from its own power plants,” he asked to nepra.

While briefing the PAC over the electric power situation in the country, Secretary Power Division Yousaf Naseem Kokhar said that currently, shortfall of electricity is zero as the demand is 13,355 MW while the generation was about 14,500 MW. He told the committee that currently 70 MW of electricity was being imported from Iran for the Gwadar while the talks were continuing for getting additional 100 MW from Iran to Gwadar. “Iran has laid down the transmission line till the borders while we had initiated the project of laying the transmission line till Iran’s border,” he told the committee.

During the meeting, the issue of over billing was once again echoed when PAC member Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed pointed that additional burden of Rs200 billion was being shifted to the consumers. “The burden of line losses and electricity thefts was being shifted to the consumers through over billing,” he remarked.

Secretary Power Division told the committee that legislation against over billing has been enacted and under the Act a punishment of three years for the employee who were found involved in over billing has been proposed.

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