ISLAMABAD - A parliamentary committee was Tuesday informed that K-Electric owes Rs 125 billion to SSGC and NTDC and the outstanding amount is the main hurdle in the selling of its shares.

While briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Power, Secretary Power division Irfan Ali said that unless the issue of K-Electric’s outstanding dues is resolved the sale of K-Electric is not possible. The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Fida Muhammad.

Irfan Ali said that K-Electric owes Rs 125 billion which includes Rs 90 billion of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Rs 35 billion of National Transmission and Distribution Company (NTDC). He said that sale of K-electric is stalled mainly because of the outstanding dues. Secretary power said that they have to evolve a mechanism to resolve the issue of K-Electric outstanding dues and proposed the nomination of a retired Supreme Court judge to settle down the matter.

The committee also recommended that the payment to land owners of Suki Kinari Hydel Project must be doubled.

While discussing the implementation status of recommendations, the Committee deliberated over the issue of reallocation of funds for the completion of electrification schemes of District Mansehra and Kohat. Taken up for the third time since December 2018, the Committee recommended that the Power Division arrange for provision of 20 percent funds for completion of remaining work of various approved schemes of Rehabilitation of Electricity Distribution Infrastructure. Secretary Power Division, Irfan Ali told the Committee that electrification projects fall in under-developed areas and considering the quantum of work, the time period of three months, since the date of sanction of funds was not sufficient to complete the project during the FY 2018-19. He said that according to an office memorandum dated 26 April, 2018 no money can be drawn for deposit into chest or transfer to company’s bank account after PY 2017-18. PESCO took up the matter with AGPR Sub Office Peshawar after which directions were conveyed in writing that no payment is to be authorized after the closure of the current financial year for the current year’s budget.  It was revealed that funds of PKR 229 million had been sanctioned for execution of power infrastructure schemes in various areas in district Mansehra and Abbotabad and PKR 298 million for rehabilitation of electricity distribution infrastructure in District Kohat. The Committee was informed that out of these funds an amount of PKR 238 million has been utilized and the balance amount of PKR 112 million and PKR 60 million remain unutilized respectively.  In view of the importance of the scheme, especially the development of Kohat, the Committee recommended that that 60 million of the 298 million be paid immediately so that the project may be completed.

While taking up the matter of payment of the federal government share to the Sindh Irrigation Department by 22 April, 2019 as per commitment in favour of XEN Bengari Sindh Feeder Division Kashmore, Chairman Committee, Senator Fida Muhammad stressed the need for the third and last instalment of PKR 670 million to be paid immediately so that the project may be completed.

While discussing the issue of electricity connections given to Afghan Refugee Camps in the country, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak was of the view that all connections must be allocated as per NEPRA rules and that bulk supply of electricity must be stopped to the camps.

Scrutiny of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) proposed by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) for the next financial year was deferred on the request of the Ministry and will be taken up exclusively in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Senator, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak, Senator Shamim Afridi, Senator Lt. Gen (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi and senior officers of the Power Division, NTDC, TESCO, PEPCO, PESCO, K-Electric.