HYDERABAD, Oct 17: Officials of the Associated Group has said that the Lakhra power plant has been leased out to the group for rehabilitation, maintenance and operation.
Speaking at a press conference at the press club on Tuesday, Associated Group’s general-manager M. M. Chandio and plant general-manager Ashfaq Laghari said that the propaganda unleashed about the privatisation of the plant did not hold any water.
They said that the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited was a part of the Associated Group and had been successfully operating for the three years.
They said that the JJVL was also the single largest LPG producer in the country and it had provided 80 per cent jobs to local people.
They said that the JJVL contributed in the installation of filter plant of the district government and organised eye camps every year.
They said that the plant would remain the property of Wapda.
They said that according to the 20 year lease agreement, employees of the plant would remain on the payroll of Wapda and would be paid salary according to the Wapda rules and regulations.
They said that the lessee would have no right to terminate services of employees.
The officials said that employees’ benefits, including health and educational facilities, would remain the same.
They said that facilities would even be enhanced as per the standard of private companies.
Speaking about the envisaged improvement in the Lakhra power plant, they said that the Associated Group was bound to provide about 70MW electricity to Wapda and if it failed than it would have to pay penalty.
They said that at present two units of the plant were lying closed for the last many years and only one unit was producing 24MW electricity under complete stress condition and damaging the parts slowly which could have led to complete closure of the plant.
They said that the Associated Group was investing 14 million dollars for the rehabilitation of the plant, repair of its machines and other facilities.
They said that the plant had been totally neglected and was in worst condition both physically and technically and was closed in 2001 due to its ineffectiveness.
They said that it was on account of these reasons that the government had decided to lease it out to some private party for generation of power so that increase in electricity demands in the country could be met and the plant could be made profitable.
They said that the new arrangements would also create jobs for skilled and un-skilled workers.
They said that if the plant had not been leased out, the employees would have suffered the fate of the workers of the SRTC and Piyro Goth Sugar Mills who were still struggling for their rights.
They said that the lease agreement was executed through legitimate tenders and only two parties had shown interest.
They said that the Associated Group’s tariff was very low as compared to the other party.
They said that the leasing process was absolutely transparent.
They said that Wapda had offered option to every employee whether he wanted to remain the part of the company or wanted to work with Wapda.
They claimed that 90 per cent employees had agreed to work with the company.
They assured that employees’ jobs were secure and they had nothing to worry about it.