Islamabad - The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) Monday recommended the government for making public the Prime Minister Enquiry Committee report on power sector and also to undertake the forensic audit of the IPPs to hold to account those involved in malpractices.

The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE)that held a meeting with the Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar was of the view that it was important to ensure transparency and good governance and make public the report of the Mohammad Ali Committee on IPP, official source told The Nation.

The Committee resolved that while government should hold to account those involved in the wrongdoings, the genuine investors should not be maligned. The CCOE decided to recommend to the Cabinet to grant approval to make the Mohammad Ali report public. It was also decided to recommend the government to conduct the forensic audit of the IPPs in light of the enquiry committee report. The source said that prior the CCOE discuss on the PM enquiry report on power sector Advisor for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar left the meeting.

In September 2019, a committee was constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, headed by former Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman Muhammad Ali, to probe the wrongdoings in power sector. The committee last week had submitted its report and pointed out irregularities worth hundreds of billions of rupees by the IPPs.

The Committee was briefed by the petroleum division about the impact of Covid-19 on Oil and Gas sector and it was informed that the consumption of petroleum products had decreased by 30 percent , and the optimization of LNG supplies, the source said. It was informed that due to slowdown in exploration activities in the country, the  government was likely to face a shortage of around Rs 940 million in royalties. CCOE was briefed about the viability of different options to be pursued to optimize the supplies.

About the decrease in gas consumption in the country due to ongoing lockdown, the committee directed the Petroleum division to continue engagement with the LNG suppliers to adjust the schedule of some cargoes as per the demand in the country. 

The CCOE was informed that oil consumption in the country had decreased by 30 percent during the lockdown. It was informed that the state owned sui gas companies SSGCL and SNGPL were expecting an estimated revenue shortfall of Rs 33 billion due to 11 days lockdown in January and the proposed lockdown till April 30, 2020.

The committee was also briefed about the progress on the privatization of power sector entities. The CCOE directed the Power division to refer any decision required in this regard to the Cabinet Committee on Privatization.

The CCOE was apprised about the progress on the introduction of reforms in the governance of the power sector. The CCOE directed the concerned ministry to fast-track the process for the completion of outstanding issues.

The meeting was attended by the CCOE members including Ministers for Railways Sheikh Rasheed, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Advisor on Finance Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, and officials from the Power Division and NEPRA.