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Event Title: Senator Saifullah Abro, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Power Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-07-04

The Senate Standing Committee on Power met on Tuesday under the Chairmanship of Senator Saifullah Abro at the Parliament House. The committee discussed at length the NTDC’s response on the recommendation and query on the 765 KV Dasu transmission line project. The Committee in previous meeting required to produce work orders, work completion certificates and other experience certificates of companies who participated in bidding process for hiring of consultant and contractors. The NTDC informed the committee that the World Bank being the financing agency has not allowed to share the documents as per their applicable procurement regime, guidelines and stipulations of the loan agreement signed with the Government of Pakistan. A detailed discussion took place on the laws and rules of the NTDC and the Committee came to the conclusion that there is no legal justification for not providing the documents to the Senate Standing Committee on Power as isn’t any outside agency. The Chairman Committee while producing various documents came to the conclusion that NTDC has mislead the committee while manipulating their own drafted regulations and shielding behind the World Bank in order to save themselves from producing the documents. Moreover, officials from Power Division along with NTDC failed to satisfy the Members of the Committee. Furthermore, the Chairman committee remarked that the World Bank has nothing to do with the submission of documents and the NTDC is shadowing against the World Bank and trying to use World Bank as shield to hide their own mala fide. The committee reiterated that how come public procurement, involving pubic money is not transparent and documents cannot be revealed that too on this august forum of the Senate’s Committee. It was also transpired after evaluating various documents that false and forged paperwork has also been produced before the committee for leading them astray. The Committee also observed that none of the argument of the Power Division was rationale and there were many gaps and differences leading to argument presented in defense by the Ministry. The committee produced various records in order to justify the irrational and misleading arguments of the Ministry as well as the NTDC. The official from Power Division was totally clueless on the internal inquiry conducted by the NTDC on wrong doings including awarding of contract to a bidder was previously disqualified. It was decided that the NTDC is given a final warning on the production of documents in the next meeting. It was also decided that the meeting will be held in camera, if deemed necessary, in the presence of senior official’s from NTDC and the Power Division. The Chairman Committee maintained that the matter will not be concluded until the procurement process of project of 800 million dollars is completely transpired as per the rules as it will directly affect the Pakistani public. 

Furthermore, the Chairman NEPRA informed the Committee that the electricity production in the country is 21 thousand megawatts while the electricity demand is more than 27 thousand MW. He said that electricity production from imported fuel was 62%, which has been reduced, due to shortage of dollar’s and high value, however, he said that at present, 38% of electricity in the country is being generated on imported fuel whereby electricity production in this way is very expensive and the country is left with no money to buy imported fuel. The Chairman Committee said that we made 3 thousand billion capacity payments in three years, why the public is being deprived of electricity when the closed power plants have capacity, he lamented. Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi while raising the issue of obtaining direct electricity and non-payment of bill said that the Charsada district has recovery of 26 Billion rupees and there is no policy formulated for recovery and line losses and recommend the Power Division may go towards Smart Metering system, and believed that with smart metering, electricity will be cut off for those who do not pay the bill. The committee also directed the Power Division that the employees of the WAPDA companies to re shuffle after every 3 years as they are involved in theft of the electricity. The committee was of the view that this re shuffling will discourage Kunda system and load shedding can be reduced. The NTDC argued that the theft of large electrical appliances has become a daily routine in Sindh and other places, where law enforcement agencies were tasked to control on the theft. The officials said that rains in June & July leading to thunderstorms caused the wiring to disrupt. It was apprised that 160 MV Transformer and Tower at Shikarpur is required. Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan also raised the issue of unannounced load shedding around the country especially in the KPK region. He said that the government promised free transformers to be installed, however none of the transformers are in working conditions and the repair work is also slow and the wiring required for the transformer is also not available; Senator Hidayatullah said that without electricity water problems are also rising.

Matter of Public Petition regarding dispensation of Justice and Continuity of service into regular cadre referred by Chairman Senate was also taken up. The grievous of the petitioner is that the services of Mr. Muhammad Adeel which was hired as ALM under disabled quota on daily wages since 2014 has not been converted from daily wages to contract employee being disable against the post of ALM. The DG, FESCO said that the services of Mr. Khadim Hussain who was hired as Naib Qasid vide the same letter on daily wages was recommended for conversion on contract. The committee put recommendation that the case of the disabled Muhammad Adeel may be considered on compassionate and humanitarians grounds and be presented before the board for conversion from daily wages to contractual employee from the date when Mr. Khadim Hussain was converted. It was also recommended that the post may also be transferred from Assistant Line Man to some post vacant in the admin under disable quota. The DG HR FESCO assured the committee that the committee recommendations will be complied by within a fort night. 

Earlier in the meeting the committee also regretted the repeated absence of the secretary and directed to ensure presence in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by Senators Fida Muhammad, Saifuallh Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai, Sana Jamali, Haji Hidayatulah Khan and Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi. The Officials from the Power Division, the NTDC and the Chairman NEPRA was also in attendance.