A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held on Monday at Parliament House. The Committee was briefed regarding alleged removal of domestic meters of small farmers for running mono motors on single phase domestic connections by GEPCO. Further discussion on Points of Public Importance regarding provision of electricity to Chromite mining area of Muslim Bagh, district Qilla Saifullah, Balochistan raised by Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar and Transparency in the recruitment process of Meter Readers resumed. The Report of the Senate Standing Committee on Power on a Point of Public Importance regarding ‘Exact figure of Circular Debt” raised by Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak was adopted.
Convened by Senator Fida Muhammad, the meeting was attended by Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Senator Siraj ul Haq, Senator Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed and senior officers from the Power Division alongwith all concerned. Minister for Energy Power Division, Mr. Omar Ayub Khan was also present.
The meeting commenced with a detailed discussion on the alleged removal of domestic meters of small farmers for running mono motors on single phase domestic meters for irrigation of their fields, the Committee was informed that running mono motors on single phase domestic connections was illegal and for that purpose the consumers needed to apply for three phase agricultural tube well connections. The Committee was further informed that applying for Agricultural connections would benefit the consumers immensely since tariff is subsidized. The Power Division was directed to provide Agricultural Tube Well Connections Policy to the Committee.
During further consideration of Point of Public Importance regarding transparency in the recruitment process of meter readers and linemen in PESCO, raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed the Committee was informed that an members of the informal sub-Committee Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak and Senator Mushtaq Ahmed visited the PESCO Head Quaarter. Both the Honourable Senators held detailed discussions with CEO and DG (HR) and analysed the information / data presented to them. It was asserted that recruitment rules and regulation had been ignored on a large scale. The irony of the matter was that those who did this had retired.
Further revisiting the Point of Public Importance regarding “provision of electricity to Chromite mining areas of Muslim Bagh, District Qilla Saifullah, Balochistan raised by Senator Usman Khan Kakar, the Committee was informed that in compliance of the directives of the Committee given during the meeting held on 18 August, 2020, the revised PC-1 amounting to PKR 258,075 million with 20 percent grid sharing cost has been prepared. Since the electrification is beyond QESCO’s scope, the Power Division was of the view that funds may be arranged and remitted to QESCO for provision of electricity to Chrome mines at Tehsil Muslim Bagh. Minister for Energy, Power Division; Mr. Omar Ayub Khan informed the Committee that the Prime Minister has approved a package for Southern and Northern Balochistan through the National Developmental Council (NDC). He assured the Committee that he would speak to Mr. Asad Umar to get it approved either from NDC or have it included in the PSDP.
While considering the Petition of Dr. Faiz Ahmed Chaudhary, Ex-MD, NTDC addressed to the Chairman and Members of the Standing Committee on Power regarding his alleged defamation by the NTDC and the Power Division during meeting of the sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Power held on 23 March, 2019 under the convenership of Agha Shahzaib Durrani, as reported in the newspaper Business Recorder dated 28 March, 2020, Secretary Power Division was of the view that NTDC has nothing to do with the case and that if Dr. Faiz wished he should file a suit of defamation against the newspaper. Dr. Faiz was of the view that his contract was terminated vide clause 10.3 of the contract agreement that pertained to termination of contract without any reason. Chairman Committee was of the view that Dr. Faiz had come to Pakistan to serve the country and was mistreated. Secretary Power Division apologised to Dr. Faiz if his sentiments were hurt due to statement issued by the NTDC.