ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Water and Power informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday that the Nandipur power project was producing electricity at a higher cost of Rs7.25 per unit, but the cost would come down when the plant was reverted to gas by the end of this year.
Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha told a meeting of the PAC that the dual-fuel power plant was not efficient on oil but would give better results on gas.
“The plant is giving variable electricity production cost; last month it stood at Rs7.25 per unit,” he said, adding that the plant was producing 250MW, but could generate 425MW if run on full capacity.
Mr Dagha said a gas pipeline was being laid to make the power plant more efficient, adding that the plant would be run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) in future. “It is expected that international prices of LNG will sustain and may further reduce over a longer period as dependence of developing countries on shale gas is increasing,” he added.
PAC member Shafqat Mahmood pointed out that power distributing companies (Discos) were passing on the cost of electricity pilferage to consumers in their bills, which was unjust.
Mr Dagha admitted this and said a new system of billing — mobile meter reading — had been introduced across the country which had helped minimise the incidents of pilferage.
In reply to a question, he said Lesco consumers were asking for an amnesty scheme but the power ministry had turned down their request.
PAC chairman Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said receivables of the power sector had reached Rs365 billion, including cost of electricity pilferage.
The receivables should not be added to the billing of those consumers who are paying their bills regularly.
Audit officials informed the meeting that as per the audit report for 2013-14, Wapda’s receivables against Discos stood at Rs278bn and called for their recovery.
The committee also examined the audit report of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination for the year 2013-14.
The PAC directed its secretariat to write a letter to the Ministry of Interior for taking appropriate action against an official of the Federal Investigation Agency who had closed a case of the National Council for Homoeopathy (NCH).
The NCH purchased a 27-marla office building for Rs56 million on the Airport Link Road, Rawalpindi, in September 2010.
The audit officials pointed out that the market price of the building was Rs20m, but it had been purchased for Rs56m, causing a loss of Rs36m to the national exchequer.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2016