ISLAMABAD - Parliamentarians on Monday questioned the installation of RLNG power plants only in Punjab and demanded the establishment of the same in other parts of the country.

“Why all the RLNG power plants are being established in Punjab and why they are not being installed in other parts of the country,” said MNA Sher Akbar during the 60th meeting of the Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms. The meeting, which was presided over by Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail, MNA, took the notice of the absence of the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms (PD& R) and Secretary PD&R and directed that their presence be ensured in the upcoming meeting. The Committee discussed RLNG power plants in Punjab , electricity projects in Buner, Chitral and the issue of recruitments of LDCs in Pakistan Institute of Development Economic (PIDE) and examined the relevant record.

The Committee was briefed about 1200MW each RLNG based power plants at Baloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah. It was informed that that both power plants in Baloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah would be functional till February, 2018.

MNA Sher Akbar demanded that RLNG power plants should also be installed in other parts of the country. MNA Asma Mamdot said that RLNG power plants should be installed in south Punjab as well.

Officials of the Power Division informed that these power plants are being financed with federal government funds and they are being constructed near the load centers and the electricity would be added to the national grid. For example, they said, the hydle power plants are located in KP but electricity is being provided to the entire country. Officials of the Water Resource Division informed that by February 2018, 2500 MW hydle based electricity will be included in the national grid.

Ironically, PPP’s Nafeesa Shah, whose party ruled the country for five years, complained about the non-provision of electricity to villages in Sindh and said that some villages are without power for years. She also criticized the government for expensive electricity and questioned: “When people will spend all their salaries on electricity bills how they are going to meet their other expenses particularly food?” She further said that when the electricity cost would be Rs 15 per unit how people can get benefit from ending of loadshedding.

Nafeesa asked why deputy chairman didn’t come for the meeting. Nafeesa Shah demanded of the government to brief the committee about the CPEC’s long term plan.

MNA Asia Nasir said that the federal minister has announced the end of loadshedding but not electricity theft. “Why the bill payers are being punished for the theft of others”, she questioned. “Some consumers on feeders may not be paying bills or involved in electricity theft but why the consumers of the entire feeder are being punished?” she asked. The government should evolve a mechanism to separate law abiding consumers from those who are involved in electricity theft, she asserted.

Committee constituted a Sub-Committee under the convenership of Iftikhar-ud-Din, MNA and Junaid Akbar, Sher Akber Khan and Shaheen Shafiq as its members.

The meeting was attended by Syed Muhammad Athar Hussain Shah Gillani, Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari, Malik Ibrar Ahmad, Dr Asma Mamdot, Dr Nafisa Shah, Ms Shaheen Shafiq, Mrs Shamas-un-Nisa, Sheikh Salahuddin, Asiya Nasir, Shazia Sohail Mir, Junaid Akbar, Iftikhar-ud-Din and Sher Akber Khan, MNAs and the officials of the concerned ministries and departments.