ISLAMABAD    -    Secretary Power Division has said that one of the reasons for the high electricity rate in the country is the over invoicing of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

While briefing the Senate Standing Committee on secretary power division further informed that the government is not privatizing the Power Distribution Companies, and instead the government intends to handover Discos to the provinces.

Senate Standing Committee on power that met with Senator Saifullah Abro in the chair discussed circular debt and power theft issue of power sector.

Secretary Power Division said that one of the reason of hike in the electricity tariff is the over invoicing of IPPs. IPPs knowingly claim higher bills, he revealed.

Committee chairman   asked   if the IPPs are doing over invoicing then what NEPRA is doing. Secretary Power said that only NEPRA can reply in this regard.

Chairman of the committee said that the electricity projects were delayed. He said that action should be taken against those responsible for the delay in the electricity projects.

The government intends to hand over power companies to the provinces, Secretary Power Division said, adding that power distribution companies are not going to be privatized. There is talk of giving power distribution companies to the provinces.  He said the    same model is being followed in India. On the matter of handing over the Discos to provinces, Chairman of the committee said, “We have to see and decide.”

Committee Chairman Saifullah Abro said that the example of K-Electric is in front of us which has a circular debt of Rs 300 billion. Saifullah Abro said that K Electric has become a white elephant and is not paying its circular debt. It would be disastrous to handover Discos to provinces, he added.

He said that because of the change of government, theft is increasing in the rural areas of Sindh.

The committee was told    if only hydropower is given to KP, electricity will be available for four months, while for the remaining eight months KP will have to take electricity from Sindh and Punjab. If the proposal of KP government is accepted then KP will be the loser, Secretary Power said.

Shibli Faraz alleged bureaucracy of changing the minutes of the import meeting.