SC seeks detailed report on working of all RPPs | Pakistan Today

SC seeks detailed report on working of all RPPs

A two-member Supreme Court bench told the Water and Power Ministry on Thursday to submit a detailed report within 24 hours containing the workings of all Rental Power Projects (RPPs), their production, advance payments given to them by the government in Pakistani rupees or US dollars, their date of operation, cost per unit, cost per unit being received from the subscribers and variation of the production during the last two months.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, was hearing a suo motu case coupled with two identical petitions filed by Federal Housing and Works Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Khawaja Asif involving allegations of corruption in the contract of RPPs.
In his arguments, Hayat told the court that an officer he identified as “Mr Tonio”, who was head of the Northern Generation Company, issued two notices to an RPP, which was inaugurated prematurely and could not fulfil its requirements. He said he was trying to get $55 million back from the company, but he was transferred.
When the chief justice enquired who transferred him, Hayat said he was transferred by the “competent authority” but was not sure if it was the water and power minister or secretary. The chief justice noted that it had become normal for any officer who was performing their duties honestly to be transferred and for those who were notoriously corrupt to be promoted. He said it was totally against good governance.
To a court query, Hayat said there was no need for any RPPs.
He said the auditor general had already pointed out Rs 50 billion corruption in RPPs contracts. He said in May 2000, the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was constituted and at that time it had a capacity of 19,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity, while three independent power producers (IPPs) were generating 1,200MW additionally.
He said 6,000MW projects of IPPs were ready but the government was not taking advantage of them. He said two RPPs – Alstom and General Electric – were given Rs 19 billion in advance for three-year contracts and they had to produce 286MW per day, but less than 50 percent of the required power was generated. He said Iqbal Z Ahmad, who in 2008 got Rs 5 billion out of this Rs 19 billion, owned the General Electric Company.
To a query, Khawaja Asif said the RPPs were producing 267MW per day. He said these RPPs were taking out advertisements in national newspapers from public money with which they had been paid in advance. He said the cabinet had already approved the same tariff for the RPPs which were given to independent power producers, but no one bothered to consider its decision.

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