ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCE) on Monday decided to hold wrongdoers in the power sector accountable for their deeds.
Sources told this scribe that the meeting, which was held with Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar in the chief, discussed the inquiry committee’s report on power sector’s losses and resolved that while the government should hold to account those involved in the wrongdoings, genuine investors should not be maligned.
The prime minister had formed a nine-member committee on the energy sector under the chairmanship of former SECP chairman. The committee, in its report, had unearthed losses of billions of rupees in the power sector and had recommended that the government should force independent power producers (IPPS) to cough up more than Rs100 billion for alleged malpractices in the signing of the contracts.
The committee decided to make the report public and agreed to present recommendations to the cabinet in line with the government’s commitment to transparency and good governance.
During the meeting, officials of the Petroleum Division also briefed the committee about the impact of COVID-19 on the oil and gas sector as well as the optimisation of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supplies. In addition to this, CCE was also briefed about the viability of different options to be pursued to optimise the supplies.
The CCE directed the Petroleum Division to continue engagement with LNG suppliers to adjust the schedule of some cargoes as per the demand in the country.
The forum was also briefed about the progress on the introduction of the competitive bilateral trading market in the power sector. The committee directed the power division and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to look into the gaps that might exist in the existing design and complete the process within the stipulated timelines and come up with policy recommendations requiring approval.
The committee was also briefed about the progress on the privatisation of power sector entities. It directed the Power Division to refer any decision required in this regard to the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation.
The CCE was apprised about the progress on the introduction of reforms in the governance of the power sector. It directed the concerned ministry to fast-track the process for the completion of outstanding issues.