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December 2, 2019

Energy minister demands provincial govt be involved in KE’s affairs

Karachi

December 2, 2019

Reacting to the increase in power tariff for the K-Electric (KE) consumers from December 1 onwards, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh has demanded that the Sindh government be given representation in the power utility’s board of directors (BoD) so that no such decision regarding power tariff could be taken in the future without consultation of the provincial government.

Speaking to the News on Sunday, Shaikh said it was not fair that the Sindh government had no say in the affairs of KE, the actions of which directly affected the residents of Sindh’s capital. He lamented that there were multiple nominees of the federal government in the KE’s BoD but there was no single representative of the Sindh government.

He condemned the increase in power tariff for the KE’s consumers, saying that it was raised by the federal government without the consultation of the Sindh government. He demanded that the increase be withdrawn.

Shaikh was of the view that since there was no Sindh government’s representative in KE, the power-related grievances of the residents Karachi were not effectively conveyed to the power utility’s management.

He stated that since Karachi was the industrial hub of the country, any increase in power tariff would harm the economy of industries in the city and it would eventually affect the people of the entire country.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had raised the issue of increase in power rates several times with the federal government but he was not heard, Shaikh claimed.

He said despite being the provincial energy minister, he was helpless regarding complaints of the people against KE as the power utility did not take the Sindh government on board while taking decisions and it was not answerable to the Sindh government.

He claimed that he daily received many complaints about the power utility’s unsatisfactory performance, particularly unannounced power cuts that continued in many areas.

Shaikh also demanded Sindh’s representation in the governing body of the National Transmission and Despatch Company. He said there were cheap energy sources in Sindh but the federal government was not interested in utilising them for power production.

Whenever the Sindh government proposed any cheap power project to the federal government, he said, the Centre paid no heed to it.

Representation in Ogra

Sindh should have representation in the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) as it produces 45 per cent of the total oil and 68 per cent of the total natural gas of the country, the energy minister said.

He said being the largest producer of gas, Sindh should be provided gas on a priority basis according to the constitution of the country but it was not the case.

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