ISLAMABAD  - The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to chief secretaries of all the provinces to respond to the proposal of purchasing electricity in bulk and its payment deducted in advance from the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. In the last hearing the court had floated an idea that let the provincial governments receive the bulk supply of electricity proportionally for the purpose of consumption for the industries, commercial, domestic and others. It had also observed that the provincial governments should take the responsibility to control pilferage, leakage and theft of electricity and gas in their respective provinces.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprised Justice Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmed and Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the suo moto regarding unprecedented loadshedding in the country. The bench directed the finance secretary to appear before the court and explain the Federation's position on the issue.

The general manager SNGPL explained to the court that there is 10 per cent UFG (unaccounted for gas) and out of that 5 per cent could be controlled. The chief justice said if the UFG is not reduced as well as theft of gas is not controlled then the gas companies would not be in a position to supply gas to IPPs and Gencos according to their requirement.

The court directed both the companies - SSGC and SNGPL - to file complete details of the gas supply to captive power plants (CPP) and the accurate figure of electricity purchased by the National Transmission and Distribution Company (NTDC) from them.

The court observed that Pepco didn't have complete data about production of the electricity in the whole country as the MD Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) failed to satisfy the bench about the electricity production by KANUPP, CPP and IPPs in Karachi.

The court hailed that Karachi besides difficulties was producing it own electricity and was less depending upon the main grid system. The chief justice asked the MD Pepco why this thing was not highlighted. The CEO Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESCO) was issued notice to provide details of electricity produce by CPP and IPPs and other sources in the metropolitan.

Managing Director Pepco Zargham Ghulam Ishaq Khan, submitting a report, told the court that total power generation on June 30, 2013 was 13,392 MW. According to report, out of the total power produced in the country 66 per cent electricity is supplied to Punjab, 12 per cent to Sindh, 18 per cent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8 per cent to Balochistan through grid stations.

The court asked the Pepco to furnish details of all the independent power producers (IPPs), whether operating on gas or residual fuel oil (RFO) along with the their capacity to produce electricity.

The court also inquired the reasons for shortfall and asked the Pepco to pursue them to achieve the maximum target of electricity generation. The court noted that prima facie it was not difficult to achieve the target of power production in the country if there was better management.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks, as the court observed that the federal government was about to announce the energy policy with an object to provide relief to the consumers.