Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif and Chief Minister, Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, on Tuesday discussed power supply issues of Sindh and the controversial figures of receivables of Sindh that stood at Rs 72 billion as per the federal government.
The meeting, which was convened as a follow-up of a recent meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Sindh, continued for more than an hour.
Both sides agreed to resolve all the issues amicably.
Both the Ministry of Water and Power and Sindh government held a number of meetings on the receivables figures but could not reach any agreement due to differences on the volume of receivables.
CM Sindh has demanded a direct distribution line from transmission lines and also expressed reservations over neglecting projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridors (CPEC) in Sindh.
He also stressed early completion of energy plants in Sindh and urged the federal minister to continue power supply to K-Electric.
Talking to media after the meeting, Khawaja Asif said that all electricity issues relating to Sindh have been discussed in detail including payments of outstanding dues and an agreement to this regard would be reached soon.
“We have held a comprehensive discussion on all the issues which are being given a shape through arrangements so that there shouldn’t be any hurdle in working relationship of Ministry of Water and Power and Sindh.
Electricity supply position is improving gradually and it will be far better in 2017 especially in Sindh,” Asif added.
Khawaja Asif refused to disclose the figure of arrears against Sindh, adding that federal government and Sindh are nearing a settlement and he would not like to compromise the position of federal government or Sindh by giving any figure of arrears.
CM Murad Ali Shah, talking to the media after the meeting, said that his meeting with Khawaja Asif was very good and both have agreed on many points and the dispute over arrears would be resolved soon.
He disclosed that both the federal and Sindh governments had agreed on many things during his tenure as Energy Minister but implementation was delayed as fine tuning took a long time.
“There is a difference of 19, 20 [little or no] in understanding of federal government and Sindh government and it will be resolved within a couple of days,” he continued.
According to the Chief Executive Sindh, the main issue he faced was massive load shedding in the province especially in interior Sindh, adding that he was thankful to Khawaja Asif who has given assurance that relief will be provided to Sindh in load shedding.
Murad Ali Shah said that he also raised the issue of some power plants in Sindh which transmit power on low voltage line.
In this regard Minister for Water and Power has shown a positive gesture, he said adding that Sindh Secretary Energy will stay in Islamabad to finalise things in a day or two. He maintained that most of the issues have been resolved.
In reply to another question, Chief Minister Sindh said that electricity issues including theft exist across the country and stated that during his meeting with Minister for Water and Power the theft issue was not taken up.
Answering a question regarding Sepco’s system, Khawaja Asif said that not only Sepco system but the entire electricity transmission system requires system upgradation across the country.
Murad Ali Shah revealed that during his recent meeting with the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, he raised the issue of renewable energy projects (notably wind) which are not being given grid connectivity as NTDC had sought more time to establish a grid.
“I have requested both the Prime Minister and Minister for Water and Power to give the assignment of grid establishment to Sindh government which will invest from its own resources, and Sindh Transmission and Despatch Company will upgrade the grid station.
I have guaranteed 800-1000 MW from renewable energy in Sindh prior to next general elections,” Shah maintained.
The Chief Minister said that three things are to be resolved ie grid connectivity which Sindh government will do on its own, Nepra will give new tariff and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will be signed in September 2016. -Business Recorder