NA body seeks explanation from ministry about countrywide power outage

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Power Wednesday sought explanation from the Ministry of Power on the major breakdown of electricity occurred on January 9.

The committee which met with Chaudhry Salik Hussain in the chair discussed countrywide power breakdown and various bills.

Briefing the committee, Minister for Power Division, Omer Ayub Khan said that the major reason of the breakdown was technical. A high powered investigating Committee comprising of NTDC, NEPRA and Ministry had already been constituted to look into the reasons of the breakdown, he added.

He said on a preliminary investigation 6 to 7 officers/officials had been suspended.

The members opined that the report when finalized, should be submitted to the committee and an exclusive session should be held on this.

The minister said that the whole distribution system needed to be revamped as feeders in KPK were installed at a distance of about 150 km especially in remote areas.

Salik Hussain said that the MoUs signed with Independent Power Producers ( IPPs) by the past governments was not beneficial for the masses. These MoUs needed to be reviewed and lacuna in these should be addressed and removed, he added.

These IPPs have got returns on their investments and this was high time that while these negotiations with the IPPs were being done, the outcome should be made beneficial for the masses.

He also said that masses should be given relief in the electricity bills. The ministry was appreciated for putting in their best efforts as for as, negotiations with IPPs were concerned.

The minister remarked that circular debt reporting format had been presented before the Cabinet and was also shared for public information.

Regarding the new meters, transformers etc, he said the system was being developed in such a way that the consumers would be able to buy from the approved vendors.

The committee deferred the Bills “The regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2020” and “The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (No. XXV of 2019)” for the next meeting.

.The Committee vowed to call the high ups of Karachi Electric Company (KE) to answer the complaints of Legislators.

Besides Minister for Energy Mr. Omer Ayub Khan, the meeting was attended by MNA’s Mr. Sher Akbar Khan, Mehar Ghulam Muhammad Lali, Ms. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Mr. Abdul Ghafar Wattoo, Mr. Saif Ur Rehman, Mr. Lal Chand, Engr. Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani, Ms. Saira Bano, Mr. Azhar Qayyum Nahra, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar, Mr. Muhammad Afzal Khokhar, Mr. Raza Rabani Khar, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Secretary Ministry of Power Division and senior officers of the relevant departments.