ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Power on Tuesday made a hue and cry for not receiving any positive response from Power Division on its recommendations, including with respect to K-Electric, as has become the norm.

Presided over by Senator Saifullah Abro, the Committee expressed serious annoyance on continuous absence of Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) KE Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi and Secretary Power Rashid Langrial from the committee meetings.

“Neither Minister, Secretary nor CEO KE are present in the meeting. None of our recommendations are being honoured by the Power Division,” said Chairman Standing Committee. However, Additional Secretary, Power Division challenged Chairman Standing Committee’s views about implementation of Committee’s recommendations, saying that all decisions of the Committee are implemented.

Regarding the absence of CEO KE from Standing Committee meeting, Additional Secretary Power Division stated that CEO KE was due to meet investors of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) in Karachi.

Chairman Standing Committee reminded Additional Secretary Power Division that he gave a guarantee in the last meeting of the committee that CEO KE would attend the next meeting, after which the Committee decided not to write a letter to ensure his presence.

Chairman Standing Committee cautioned Additional Secretary Power Division that Power Division has not cooperated in any issue, adding that now the Committee would write to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Additional Secretary gave his word to Standing Committee that he would ensure presence of CEO KE in the next meeting of the Committee.

Chairman Standing Committee asked Additional Secretary Power Division to give reasons to the Committee for not finalizing PPA with KE which expired in 2015. He contended that Power Division has not recovered receivables of Rs 58 billion from KE, accusing Power Division of not recovering this amount, deliberately.

Chairman Standing Committee also accused Genco Holding Company Limited (GHCL) of misstating the total capacity of generation plants, adding that Committee was showed 4000-MW generation capacity of its plant whereas actual capacity is 2100-MW. The Committee sought Gencos rehabilitation plan in ten days.

The representative of GHCL informed the Committee that efficiency of public sector plants is 31 per cent whereas private sector companies operate on 60 per cent.

Standing Committee also sought reasons for not sending summary of CEO Genco Holding Limited to the Cabinet, adding neither there is any CEO in Gencos, nor Chief Engineer. Delay in appointments of Managing Directors of NTDC and NESPAK was also questioned.

“All public sector generation plants are being operated without any CEO or Chief Engineer. If public sector companies are to be run in this way, then they will suffer losses,” said Chairman Standing Committee.

According to official statement, the committee was also briefed by the officials of Nandipur Power Plant with respect to bidding process applied in award of project. Officials informed that the advertisement was initially published for ‘Chichoki Malian’ project and three firms participated in bidding process which includes Alstom-Marubeni, Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd and Harbin Power Engineering Company Limited. However, later on, government awarded the ‘Nandi Power Plant’ to the lowest bidder instead of ‘Chichoki Malian’ project. Senator Saifullah Abro reiterated that there is clear evidence of irregularities and government could not initiate bidding process on one project and award another project to the same bidder because both the projects were situated in different locations and have different estimated cost.

He recommended the Ministry to take necessary action against the irregularities and provide details of officials who were incharge at that time. He also directed the Ministry to provide bidding details of Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, Neelum-Jhelum hydropower plant, Bhikki combined-cycle power plant in the next meeting.

Moreover, the matter pertaining to restoration work on Neelum-Jhelum hydropower plant was also taken up by the committee. Officials apprised the senate body that the fault occurred in July of this year and restoration work will be completed in May of next year at an estimated cost of Rs.2.3 billion. Tauseef H Farooqi, Chairman NEPRA argued that the shutdown of Neelum-Jhelum power plant was costing Rs.10 billion to the government monthly and the restoration work shall be completed at earliest.

The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, and Arshad Majeed Additional Secretary for Power Division, Chairman NEPRA Tauseef H Farooqi and other concerned officers. —MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN