ISLAMABAD - The Senate Special Committee on Circular Debt has Wednesday said that both the government and the people of Pakistan should be sensitised on the issue of Rs566 billion circular debt and asserted that the issue must be resolved on war footing.

Convener of the committee, Shibli Faraz, said that the committee's target was to deal with the menace of circular debt and instructed the Power Division to provide the committee with province wise details (Industrial/Domestic/Commercial) of running defaulters. The meeting was held here under Chairmanship of Senator Shibli Faraz

The Ministry of Energy (Power Division) proposed that to resolve the issue of circular debt it was imperative that policies be reframed especially with regards to Discos.

While addressing the issues related to circular debt which is Rs566 billion in the country, Senator Shibli was of the view that it is imperative that both the government and the people of Pakistan be sensitized about the issue.

This problem, he asserted must be addressed on war footing.

Senator Faraz showed displeasure over Discos for not working on multiple options for tackling the issues that plagued them. He asserted that the committee expected their planning wings to be more proactive.

Waseem Mukhtar, Additional Secretary Power Division, briefed the Committee about the overall situation of the Energy Sector in Pakistan and discussed remedial measures to be taken to reduce circular debt . He asserted that for any progress to be made it was imperative that policies be reframed especially with regards to Discos. He asserted that boards must comprise professionals that have no associated interests.  He further informed the committee that every Disco had its own planning wing and that it should come up with new ideas and solutions to ease the situation.

According to Managing Director NTDC, Zafar Abbas, making any progress in terms of energy transmission has become impossible as it entails huge costs.

He said, however, that in view of growing demand a plan has been put in place to upgrade transmission lines. The committee was informed that

According to Joint Secretary Power Division, Zargham Ishaq Khan in November as per decision the Cabinet Division load-shedding rota was rescheduled. It was revealed that the government instructed that electricity must be supplied to all areas without suspension regardless of their recovery status. This caused an increase in line losses that overburdened the power sector in Pakistan and also caused an increase in circular debt .

While discussing circular debt at the Discos level, it was observed that Banu, DI Khan, Charsadda and the Khyber Circle were most notorious in terms of electricity theft. The percentage of recovery in these areas was less than 30 percent. Malakand Division was a top bill paying area.

According to Pesco official because of provision of electricity to the high losses area the company suffered total losses worth Rs38 billion.

The total line losses of Pesco is 38 percent while the recovery is 90 percent, said the Pesco official. Overall the total losses of the company are 44 percent, he added.

According to Hesco officials total annual line losses entailed Rs27 billion. The percentage for company losses was 30.7 percent.

Discussing Balochistan and losses incurred in the province, Senator Usman Khan Kakar was of the view that the energy crisis in the province can only be resolved by resorting to solar energy. In the financial year 2017- 18 Qesco suffered losses worth Rs18.7 billion.

According to Sepco officials company losses entailed 9.5 billion whereas recovery was 60 percent.

Senator Faraz pointed out that delay in the Patrind Project entailed losses worth $20million due to capacity charges.

The NTDC MD said that they are conducting an enquiry into the matter to find out why the delay is being caused and who was responsible for it.

Discussing the Right of Way and its intricacies, Senator Faraz said that law making must be undertaken so that a mechanism is in place for further action.

Senator Mir Kabir said that government is annually paying Rs29 billion subsidy to the tube wells in Balochistan while the total estimated cost of the conversion to solar power is Rs65 billion.

The meeting was attended by Senator Dr Jehanzaib Jamaldini, Senator Behramand Khan Tangi, Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Senator Moulana  Atta-ur-Rehman, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq and senior officers of the Power Division, NTDC, Qesco, Hesco, Sepco and Pesco.