Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will hold discussion clearance report of power sector circular debt worth Rs480b in its Thursday’s meeting. The report revealed that an amount of Rs341.95b was released to IPPs without authorisation of the pre-audit.

The PAC committee members will thoroughly review audit objections of Ministry of Water and Power with special reference on clearance of controversial circular debt of power sector Rs480billion.

This report, presented in National Assembly (NA), revealed the fact that an amount of Rs 341.958 billion released for onward transmission to IPPs without authorisation of the AGPR and pre-audit. The report says finance Division released an amount of Rs 341.95b on June 27, 2013 for onward transmission to IPPs without authorisation of the AGPR. This report further said that this deviation from the prescribed procedure resulted in unauthorized payment.

The report says that the special audit of ‘clearance of Circular Debt’ was conducted by the directorate general audit WAPDA during the year 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Out of the net circular debt amount, an amount of Rs342 billion was paid to PEPCO for cash settlement of circular debt by finance division, says the report, presented in national assembly in last session (28th sittings).

The Senate standing Committee on finance has also recently offered the PAC to jointly investigate Rs480 billion payments made to the power companies.

As, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance Senator Saleem Mandviwalla had written a letter written to Syed Khurshed Shah Chairman PAC. In the letter, Mandviwalla had said that the Senate Finance Committee was shocked to hear about wrong payments made to the power sector companies in complete violation of rules and procedures and level of loss suffered by the national exchequer.

It is relevant to mention a PAC member from PTI Shafqat Mehmood had submitted a letter to the committee highlighting flaws in the decision.

Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) Asad Amin had not shared the report with the committee but submitted in Chairman PAC office.