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News Line
Rs125bn Dues Major Hurdle in KE Sell-Off

ISLAMABAD: The Power Division on Tuesday said K-Electric had over Rs125 billion liabilities payable to two government entities, which was the main hurdle to the sale of its shareholding.

Testifying before Standing Committee of the Senate on Power presided over by Senator Fida Muhammad, Secretary Power Irfan Ali said unless the issue of KE’s outstanding dues was settled, its sale was not possible.

Ali informed that KE owed a total of Rs125bn, including Rs90bn to Sui Southern Gas Company and Rs35bn to National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

He said the sale of KE shares to Shanghai Electric of China was stalled mainly because of the outstanding dues. The secretary said some mechanism would have to be evolved to resolve the issue of outstanding dues and proposed the nomination of a retired Supreme Court judge to adjudicate the matter.

The committee recommended that the payment to land owners of Suki Kinari Hydel Project must be doubled to encourage land holders and displaced persons to volunteer evacuation.

While discussing the implementation status of recommendations, the committee deliberated over the issue of reallocation of funds for the completion of electrification schemes in District Mansehra and Kohat.

Taken up for the third time since December 2018, it suggested that the Power Division should arrange provision of 20 per cent funds for completion of remaining work of various approved schemes of ‘Rehabilitation of Electricity Distribution Infrastructure’.

Ali told the panel that electrification projects fell in under-developed areas and considering the quantum of work, the time period of three months, since the date of sanction of funds was not sufficient to complete the project during 2017-18.

He said according to an office memorandum of April 26, 2018, no money could be drawn for transfer to company’s bank account after 2017-18. Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) took up the matter with Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues Peshawar after which directions were conveyed in writing that no payment was to be authorised after the closure of FY18 for the current year’s budget.

The meeting was informed that funds worth Rs229 million had been sanctioned for execution of power infrastructure schemes across various areas in Mansehra and Abbotabad and Rs298 million for Rehabilitation of Electricity Distribution Infrastructure in Kohat.

The committee was told that out of this total, an amount of Rs238m had been utilised and the balance of Rs112m and Rs60m remained unused. In view of the scheme’s importance, especially the development of Kohat, the committee recommended that Rs60m of Rs298m be paid immediately so that the project can be completed.

While taking up the matter of payment of the federal government’s share to the Sindh Irrigation Depart¬ment by April 22, as per commitment in favour of XEN Bengari Sindh Feeder Divi¬sion Kashmore, Muhammad directed that the third and last instalment of Rs670m be paid immediately to complete the project.

While discussing the issue of electricity connections given to Afghan refugee camps, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak was of the view that all connections must be allocated as per National Electric Power Regulatory Authority rules and that bulk supply of electricity must be stopped to the camps.

The meeting was attended by the following senators: Moula Bux Chandio, Mushahid Ullah Khan, Muhammad Akram, Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot, Dilawar Khan, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Shamim Afridi, Lt Gen (R) Sala¬huddin Tirmizi. Senior officers of the Power Division, NTDC, Tesco, Pepco, Pesco and KE were also present.

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