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Event Title: Islamabad, 22nd November, 2022:Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held here at Old PIPS Hall, Parliament Lodges on Tuesday with Senator Saifullah Abro in Chair.

Event Date: 2022-11-22

The Senate Committee showed displeasure over the absence of Federal Minister, Secretary of power division and CEO of K-Electric. The Chair stated that the Minister has not attended even a single meeting from the last seven months. He further added that the committee has made numerous recommendations to Power Division and unfortunately none has been implemented so far. The committee decided and directed the Ministry to provide feedback on thirteen important recommendations / issues within 10 days time.

Furthermore, the committee was also briefed by the officials of Nandipur Power Plant with respect to bidding process followed 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, lately, government awarded  the 'Nandi Power Plant' to lowest bidder instead of 'Chichoki Malian' project. Senator Saifullah Abro reiterated that there is clear evidence of irregularities and government could not intiate bidding process on one project and award another project to the same bidder because both the projects were located 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 in-charge at that time. He also directed the Power Division to provide bidding details of Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, Neelum-Jhelum hydropower plant, Bhikki combined-cycle power plant in the next meeting.

While discussing the circular debt of K-Electric, which currently stands at Rs.300 Billion as of October, 2022 evaluation. Arshad Majeed, Additional Secretary Power Division, informed the committee that Prime Minister Mr. Shehbaz Sharif has constituted the committee under the supervision of Khaqan Abbasi to probe the matter. Senator Saifullah Abro told that committee was formed in June 2022 and questioned as to what measures the ministry have taken earlier. He further directed the K-Electric to pay the circular debt of Rs.58 Billion of year 2008 on which the K-Electric agreed. The committee deferred the matter and decided to conduct meeting on the said matter within a week.

The Senate body asked the power division as to how the government is going to run the Public sector power plants, when the government is failed to appoint CEO's of GENCO I, II and GENCO holding companies.
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 was occurred in July of this year and restoration work will be completed in May of the next year with estimated cost of Rs.2.3 Billion. Tauseef H.Farooqi, Chairman NEPRA was of opinion that the shutdown of Neelum-Jhelum power plant costing Rs.10 Billion to government monthly and the restoration work shall be completed at earliest. The senate body directed WAPDA to submit independent expert interim report before the committee in the next meeting.

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,Arshad Majeed Additional Secretary for Power Division,Chairman NEPRA Tauseef H.Farooqi and other concerned officers were also in attendance.