ISLAMABAD: The Power Division on Monday informed the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Power that the division has been preparing a new framework for the recruitment of local people in power companies of the country.
This disclosure was made by the secretary Power Division while briefing the NA panel on power which was held under the chairmanship of NA member Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani.
Regarding provincial representation in the NEPRA Appellate Tribunal, the secretary Power that there is no logic behind the suggestion as it a judicial forum whereas provincial representation in it is not necessary.
He said that the division could not complete the tribunal due to some problems while no member could be nominated for the Balochistan tribunal in the last two years and that the Supreme Court had advised to complete the forum as soon as possible.
He said Sindh was to nominate a member Finance and Balochistan was to nominate a member Electricity. “At present, the NEPRA Appellate Tribunal is dysfunctional with both posts vacant,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, NEPRA Vice Chairman Rafique Ahmed Shaikh advocated for provincial representation in the tribunal as it would protect the rights of provinces whenever a decision by the authority is challenged.
He lamented that NEPRA had opposed amendments against provincial representation in the tribunal earlier.
On finding a difference of opinion on the matter, the NA panel asked the members to present proposals in this regard.
Similarly, owing to absence of large number of the members, the NA panel deferred discussion on the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019, despite secretary Power’s request to take up the bill which was submitted one year ago.
He further told the NA panel that power price hike was because of depreciation in the value of rupee against the US dollar as well as due to heavy capacity payments.
The NEPRA vice chairman said that loss of electricity due to theft was being passed on to the innocent consumers who pay their bills regularly. He said that there was no improvement in the working of power distribution companies (DISCOs).
“NEPRA has allowed nine DISCOs to invest Rs365 billion in three years. Most of the cases of net metering belong to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad,” he informed.
It is pertinent to mention that the NA Standing Committee on Power has details regarding the appointment of Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (IESCO) chief.