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Senate body claims govt not providing subsidy on power

19 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power on Tuesday claimed that the government is just deceiving the public in the name of subsidy on power and sold first 25 units for Rs 12 and beyond 25 units at Rs 18 per unit.

Chairman of the committee Zahid Khan claimed that the federal government is just deceiving general public over subsidy on power. "The trick was done over the difference in the name of kilowatt load and the units consumed by the consumers. There is a lot of difference between the average basket price determined by WAPDA and power distribution companies," Khan said. He said that the power tariff for power distribution companies is much higher than the tariff charged from general consumers.

"It is all due to inclusion of several taxes by the government, which is thus earning profits, but the whole nation has been kept in dark," Khan maintained. The committee also criticised the Planning Commission of Pakistan over delay in release of funds for different developmental projects. "Not releasing of funds not only delays completion of projects in time but also increases project cost," Khan observed. The committee was told that Munda Dam is a vital project for the country's development and 62 percent work on it has already been completed. Of the Rs 400 million allocation for this project, the government has released only Rs 100 million over which the private contractor consulted the court and the Planning Commission stopped fund release to it. If the funds to this project are not released till March 31, the European Union will stop assistance for it.

PML-N's Senator Nisar Mohammad Khan said the delay in release of fund by the Planning Commission was a conspiracy. Meanwhile, Senator Khalida Parveen said that details of all the government delegations going abroad and other agreements entered for overcoming the energy crises should be presented in the committee. Senator Mohsin Laghari said all the national energy projects should be completed as early as possible so that the nation could be rid of heavy load shedding. Senator Hamayun Mandokhel urged early completion of power-related projects in Balochistan.

Member WAPDA Hussain Afzal told the committee that Munda Dam will generate 840MW of power and will cultivate 350,000 acres of land. The committee expressed displeasure over stoppage of funds for the Munda Dam by the Planning Commission. Meanwhile, NEPRA chairman informed the committee that hydropower share in power generation is 34 percent and its price is Rs 1.11 to Rs 3.18 per unit. He informed that power distribution companies were sold power at Rs 9.31 per unit during June and July. He said that consumers using 50 units were charged at Rs 2 per unit.

Speaking on the occasion Zahid Khan said that on 25 units consumers the government suffers Rs 1 per unit loss, but beyond this limit the government is charging Rs 18 per unit, meaning it is earning Rs 4 per unit and there is no subsidy by the government.

End.

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