KARACHI - The Pakistan People’s Party and its provincial government raised the energy issues at all levels constantly during the past years and blamed the federal government for delays and shortages but the party itself had failed to utilised the funds available to its provincial government for improving energy related infrastructure in the province.
Former chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah claimed in his last budget speech in 2018 that Sindh had timely met the milestones set for the different power projects during current year, however, his claims proved nothing as the energy department only utilised three percent of the funds allocated for the energy related development projects.
According to the available data, the provincial government allocated an amount of Rs 3,005 million for the development of infrastructure for energy projects in the province during fiscal year 2018-19, however, the PPP led provincial government which remained installed for 11 months of the fiscal year only spend Rs 102. 76 million, out of the 745.51 million released amount.
The projects which the provincial government initiated under the energy department included village electrification programme in the province with an amount of Rs 700 million but none of the amount was utilised during the 11 months of the fiscal year. The project was approved on January 13,.2016.
Another project for electrification of Goths in Karachi- which are considered as the strongholds of the PPP- saw the most expenditure for any project from the provincial government under the energy department head.
The government utilised 50 percent of the allocated amount-Rs 200 million- for the project. The chief of the provincial hierarchy of the province in budget speech had said that development of renewable energy is another vital area where their government has put special emphasis. Government has so far allotted 53,600 acres land in different districts for development and production of wind and solar energy and reserved 42,000 acres for new such projects.
However, the provincial government failed to work on the project for electrification of primary health facilities through solar technology. The government allocated Rs 380 million of which only Rs 95.510 million were released and only a mere amount of Rs 2.755 million was utilized for the purpose. A bio gas plant pilot project also did not see any expenditure despite Rs 20 million allocation.
The chief minister in his budget speech said that current financial year they have negotiated and finalized with the World Bank “Sindh Solar Energy Project” for deployment of solar PV technologies in Sindh at the estimated cost of US$ 105 Million. The project would be formally launched from next financial year.
However, the project was part of the outgoing year development plan but even did not have the nod from the provincial authorities for approval.
The provincial government allocated an amount of Rs 580 million but did not incur any expenditure on the project.
The provincial government has raised hue and cry over the lack of gas supply to the province on one hand but on the other it failed to materialize a project for development infrastructure in the province for provision of gas supply to the province.
The project has an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 million and allocated an amount of Rs 1,125 million for the outgoing fiscal year but to none of the money was neither released nor utilised.