ISLAMABAD: The Senate standing committee on power has expressed its serious displeasure over the absence of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), K-Electric and Minister for Energy (Power Division) from the meeting.
The Senate committee met on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Saifullah Abro to discuss various issues of K- Electric. These included the inception of the company, complete procedure including tendering process of privatisation of K-Electric, ownership and achievements made so far, the development sector plan and projects along with their tendering process and investments made as well as complete details of correspondence made with the power division regarding the installation of new power plants and the implementation status of the nine recommendations made by the committee in its previous meeting.
At the outset of the meeting, the committee expressed its displeasure over the non-participation of Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi, CEO, K-Electric in the meeting.
The chairman said that in the previous meeting, the CEO was instructed to attend and brief the committee. “If such hooliganism happens, it will not continue,” he said, adding that he will use the option of summoning him through the police. However, after the mutual consensus of those present, the Senate panel wrote a letter to the Chairman Senate with the request to issue a summon notice to the CEO. The panel also unanimously decided to move a privilege motion against him.
More concerns were raised over the absence of the Federal Minister for Energy. The committee wrote an on-spot letter to the Chairman Senate regarding the minister’s absence and was of the opinion that its privilege was undermined by his continued absence despite being called several times.
The chief marketing and communications officer of K-Electric, Sadia Dada, was representing the CEO and repeatedly said that she was ready to answer all questions, but the committee believed that a person from marketing was not eligible to give a briefing regarding development plans and investments made from 2006 to the present.
The chairman further said that the energy sector is in a shambles due to poor performance and incompetent workers and reiterated questions regarding the 1,434 agricultural tubewells in Lasbela, and 28,000 tubewells which are being run by QESCO, and inquired about the letters to the FIA and NAB and their inquiry report.
The committee raised more questions on details of the K-Electric contract and circular debt which has not been resolved as yet. Senator Fida Muhammad said that K-Electric’s contract with the national grid expired in 2015, and eight years have gone by but it hasn’t been renewed.
The committee members initially restrained K-Electric from giving a briefing in the absence of the company’s CEO. The committee’s chairman however, gave the chief marketing officer a chance to speak and inquired about K-Electric’s investment of Rs 475 billion on various projects – which the official failed to answer.
The committee also called for a briefing on the problems of Karachi’s electricity consumers.
Dada informed the members of the committee about investments made till date since privatisation, and added that K-Electric continued to invest even during those years in which it sustained heavy financial losses.
Over the matter of billing of 1,400 agricultural tubewells that fall under the service territory of K-Electric, Dada invited the members to visit them and conduct their own surveys.
The committee also directed the implementation of the deployment of 20% engineers to all DISCOs and recommendation to IESCO, LESCO and PESCO to implement the policy by the last week of January. The committee members also expressed anger on MEPCO’s refusal and directed the power division to approve the implementation of the quota from the board of MEPCO within a week. The committee believed that implementation of promotion policy for graduate engineers from LS-II to SDO in all DISCOs is necessary for the improvement of DISCOs.
Senator Syed Shibli Faraz asked for an update about the introduction of star rating in electric fans aimed at manufacturing energy-efficient products to which power division was recommended to provide the update within two days.
The committee also expressed reservation on the matter of recovering money from GE, amounting to Rs 10.8 billion, in light of letters issued by the power division, and maintenance amount P.O $ 32 million regarding damage of 747MW (GT-14) as well as action against BoD, GHCL & BoD, GENCO-II. The chairman committee questioned how P.O $32 million was released and stressed that the amount should be recovered, recommendations implemented and a report be submitted to the committee within one week.
The meeting was attended by Senators Fida Muhammad, Syed Shibi Faraz, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Zeeshan Khanzada, Haji Hidayatullah Khan and Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi. Officials from the power division, K-Electric, Privatisation Commission and other attached departments were also in attendance.