Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the proposal to hand over the affairs of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to sources, the Prime Minister would write a letter to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within few days in connection with a decision to hand over the management control of PESCO to the provincial government.
They said a decision has been taken on the request of Ministry of Water and Power following a demand made by PTI chief Imran Khan to hand over the PESCO to his party’s provincial government in order to address frequent power breakdowns.
Minister for information Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid and Federal Minster for Water and Power Khawaja Asif had earlier stated that the federal government is ready to hand over the management control of PESCO to KP government if they can ensure 100 percent recovery.
Following the offer made by two senior PML-N ministers, Asad Omer of PTI told a press conference that the provincial government of PTI is ready to take over the control of PESCO besides accepting the challenge of looking after other public-sector entities in the province which the “federal government has miserably failed to run efficiently”.
The sources further said the decision to hand over PESCO management control to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was also in line with 18th Constitutional Amendment under which the Constitution allows the province to attract investors in the power sector in order to generate electricity on their own.
They said the Ministry of Water and Power will send a formal request to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take over the charge of PESCO in a couple of days. With taking over control of the PESCO, the sources said, the provincial government will also be taking responsibility of line losses and recoveries.
When contacted, adviser to chief minister KP Shiraz Piracha told Business Recorder over the phone from Peshawar that the provincial government welcomes the decision taken by federal government to hand over the PESCO to it.
He said the centre had not yet officially informed the KP government, he, however, was quick to add that besides management control of PESCO, the centre should also hand over to the KP government 4200MW power being generated by the province.
The adviser also sought the payment of Rs350 billion share of the net hydel profit (NHP) arrears from the federal government.
Author: Ali Hussain
Source: Business Recorder