Karachi - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that any decision regarding electricity by any committee or ministry other than CCI is illegal and unconstitutional, therefore all the letters issued by Cabinet Committee on Energy and others must be withdrawn.

This he said while talking to Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Energy Shahzad Qasim here at CM House. The meeting was attended by Provincial Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro and Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan.

The chief minister said that unilateral and arbitrary decision of Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) has created an alarming situation adversely affecting provincial interest.

He said that CCoE has unilaterally directed to reduce life of solar and wind projects from 20 to 15 years. The CCoE has also imposed selective embargo on processing of ongoing small hydro, wind and solar projects. He urged the Special assistant of the prime Minister to continue all the renewable Energy (RE) projects possessing LOIs under RE policy 2006. Elaborating RE policy 2006 the chief minister said that it provided a lucrative fiscal and monetary incentive to investors.

Shah said that if the RE projects and tariffs as low as under five cents were not allowed to develop, the public exchequer would continue to bleed by expensive energy and forex outflows on fuel purchase. At this Mr Shahzad Qasim, an energy expert, said that if 1000 MW RE power project were installed the government would be able to save Rs14 billion in forex every year. “Therefore, we have to focus on the production of RE projects,” he said.

The chief minister said that the province of Sindh has 60 km long and 80 km wide wind corridor coastal belt. He added that the province of Sindh was known as Energy Hub of Pakistan because it has the capacity to produce 55,000 MW wind energy in Thatta, 10 GW solar energy (average 5.5 kWh/m2/day), 130 MW Hydero (low head and Run of the River), 1,000 MW Bagasse Cogeneration, 500 MW water energy (Karachi produces 11,000 MT garbage daily), 550 MW Geothermal. “The federal government is requested to approve the stuck up RE projects at its end so that work could be started on the projects and in this more private companies would be attracted,” he said.

The prime minister’s Special Assistant Mr Shahzad Qasim assured the chief minister of his support and congratulated him on almost completion of Thar Coal Mining and Power project. “It was a difficult task but Murad Ali Shah with his commitment made it possible,” he said. On the invitation of the chief minister MR Shahzad Qasim would visit Thar Coal Mining and Power Project on Tuesday. He would be taken their by Provincial Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh.   

Meanwhile, while talking to media at a local event, the chief minister said that constitutionally a chief minister is empowered to allot land but he has not allotted land to any person or organisation ever since he has taken over as chief executive of the province in 2016.

To a question, he said that he had not received any National Accountability Bureau (NAB) notice for his appearance on Friday. “I don’t know how some media men aired this news,” he asked and urged media to verify news before making it on air or printing it the papers.

Replying to a question, he said that he won’t discuss JIT report because the Supreme Court of Pakistan has forbidden discussing it in media, otherwise he had vast and credible material to respond each and every clause relating to him.

To another question, the chief minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had vowed to provide buses for BRT Green Line project when he had visited Karachi to pay respect to father of nation and had presided over a meeting on development projects. “The minutes of the meeting are available and anybody can read them,” he said and added otherwise, the provincial government was ready to procure buses for Green Line project. He added that the Sindh governor might have not read the minutes of the prime minister’s meeting, otherwise he had not given such a statement.

“I am surprised that after three months of the prime minister’s meeting and the decision the Sindh governor says that the provincial government has to procure buses,” he said.

Talking about relationship between the federal and the provincial governments, Murad Ali Shah said: “The constitution of Pakistan determines the working perimeters between the centre and provinces and if both, centre and provincial governments will work within their constitutional limits there will be no problem,” he said and added the functions of the governor were also very clear in the constitution and “he [Governor] knows very well,” he said and went on saying that whenever prime minister has visited Karachi he has received him and attended his meeting where he was invited.

“We are political people and would never disgrace the highest constitutional offices,” he said. He deplored that the media was not focusing on the core issue of poor revenue collection by the federal government.

“This is an important and glaring issue that the federal government has failed to achieve its revenue recoveries targets,” he said and added the FBR collection has shown only two percent growth while the Sindh Revenue Board collection had shown 18 percent growth. “We are in a better position because we are focusing on our governance, performance and service to the people while they [fed government] are engaged in un-productive work and futile exercise of giving exagerating political statements,” he said. 

Furthermore, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved $6 million Sindh Road Network Master Plan and Institutional Strengthening Trainings under which a detailed study of existing road network will be carried out. He approved the plan on Friday while presiding over a meeting here at CM House.