ISLAMABAD: The circular debt of the power sector has again crossed the Rs400 billion threshold under the present government.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was told on Wednesday that the payable towards the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had reached Rs237bn, Rs99bn was outstanding for fuel cost and Rs11bn as gas charges.
The water and power ministry told a committee meeting that electricity line losses had caused Rs135.54bn loss to the national exchequer over the past four years.
Earlier, the incumbent government cleared Rs480bn circular debt but the debt has again risen to Rs401bn. It includes Rs135bn line losses, Rs 182bn dues of the consumers and Rs62.5bn subsidy. Rs22bn of K-Electric is also included in the circular debt.
The officials of the ministry, giving a briefing to the PAC, said that per unit cost of electricity was Rs8.52 and it was supplied to the consumer at the rate of Rs11.97 per unit.
PAC not satisfied with briefing given by water and power ministry
The hydel plants generate power at a cost of Rs4.11 per unit, IPPs Rs8.8, coal-based plants Rs11.65, nuclear energy plants Rs5.36, wind energy plants Rs17.34 and solar energy plants Rs16.92.
PAC member Mian Abdul Manan asked why K-Electric was not supplying power as per its commitment. “K-Electric is neither supplying electricity as per its agreement nor clearing the outstanding dues,” he said.
The ministry replied that the agreement with K-Electric for provision of 650MW had expired after completion of its term.
However, the company is still supplying electricity as per its capacity.
It told the committee that an agreement between K-Electric and the Shanghai Electric had been put on hold.
The water and power ministry said that it had sought Rs62bn subsidy from the finance ministry and, after getting the amount, it would pay some dues of IPPs and the Pakistan State Oil.
PAC member Syed Naveed Qamar said that the government claimed to have adding 5000MW to the system yet there was no decrease in duration of power cuts.
PAC Chairman Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said that the government should promote micro solar energy for domestic use to overcome the energy crisis but the ministry of water and power seemed not interested to motivate the consumers to use solar power.
The committee expressed dissatisfaction over the briefing of the ministry and asked it to give a detailed presentation on different aspects of the energy issue.
The meeting was also attended by members of parliament Raja Mohammad Javed Ikhlas, Mohammad Junaid Anwar, Rana Afzal Hussain, Sherry Rehman, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Rohail Asghar, Dr Darshan, Mohammad Arshad Leghari and Azra Fazal Pechuho, Secretary Water and Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and Auditor General of Pakistan Imran Iqbal.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2017