Sindh to pay Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Sukkur Electric Supply Company power bills if Centre withdraws ban on wind, solar power plants installation
Karachi, April 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Sindh government would not clear outstanding electricity bills of Hesco and Sepco until and unless the Ministry of Water and Power withdraws the notification under which it has banned installation of solar and wind power plants. Apart from it the Ministry has to rationalize load-shedding in Sindh.
This decision was taken in a meeting held between Sindh government and Ministry of Water and Power held here with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah in the chair. The Sindh government was represented by Minister for Finance and Energy Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Siddique Memon, Principal Secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput while the Ministry of Water and Power was represented by Secretary Water and Power Younis Dhaga, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) CEO Mr Saleem Khan and CEO of Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) Mr Farmanullah.
The Secretary Water and Power, Mr Younis Dhaga said that over all Rs9 billion were outstanding against Sindh government departments located in Hyderabad and Sukkur region. “Originally the claimed amount was Rs17 billion and after reconciliation of the disputed power bills it came to Rs9 billion. Of them Sindh government has to release Rs2.4 billion.” he said.
On this provincial minister for Finance and Energy Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Sindh government was being maligned that it did not clear its electricity bills. As a matter of fact, the Sindh was faced with exaggerated bills. “Its instant example is Rs17 billion claim by Hesco and Sepco but after reconciliation it came down to Rs9 billion,” he said and added that the Ministry of Water and Power has recently imposed ban on the installation of Wind and Solar power plants knowing that Sindh has a vast wind corridor.
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the investors were already reluctant to invest in Sindh. Top of it the imposition of ban on installation of Wind and Solar power plants through a notification has further put a dent into the investment endeavours of Sindh government.
“This is not fair and it needs to be withdrawn,” he emphasized. On this Secretary Water and Power assured the chief minister that he would modify or withdraw the notification. Mr Murad Ali Shah insisted that this notification must be withdrawn to develop conducive atmosphere for investment in alternative energy.
The Provincial Finance Minister further said that the federal government has unilaterally decided to import costly LNG and give it to Sindh. It wants to take economical natural gas being produced from Sindh to Punjab. “In this regard the federal government has sent us a vague l
er. We would not allow this at any cost. These issues must be resolved first then we would pay the Hesco and Sepco bills,” he said categorically.
Sindh chief minister said that 15 to 18 hour load shedding was resorted to in lower Sindh. “This is being done without keeping in view the growing temperature and hardship of people of Sindh. This would be b
er if the administration of Hesco and Sepco may be given to Sindh government,” he said.
The secretary Water and Power Younis Dhaga said that he was ready to induct commissioners in the boards of Hesco and Sepco so that they may have say in the distribution process of electricity in their respective areas. Apart from it district committees were being constituted where notables and deputy commissioners would be inducted to workout load-shedding schedule and look after the issues on local level. ‘In this regard, I have held a meeting with Sindh Chief Secretary Siddique Memon,” he said.
Mr Dhaga further said that around Rs63 billion of electricity bills were outstanding against Sindh government from 2011. An amount of Rs17 billion was reconciled to Rs9 billion. On this Secretary Finance told the federal Secretary Mr Dhaga that the bills Sindh was receiving were still exaggerated if they were compared with the electricity bills of the KPK. However, Sindh has already paid Rs7 billion, he said.
It may be noted that the Sepco claims that it has given 10,356 power connections to Sindh government in its area, of them 343 connections have been reconciled. It claims Rs1.5 billion electricity bills. Secretary Water and Power Mr Dhaga requested the Sindh government to release Rs2.4 billion reconciled amount. On this provincial minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the amount would be released when the federal government would redress the grievances of Sindh government.
He also urged the secretary Water and Power to install the meters at all the Sindh government power connections so that proper billing could be made. The chief minister also urged Mr Dhaga to expedite village electrification for which Sindh has already paid Rs500 million to Hesco and Rs300 million to Sepco. The government once again clarified that the payment of electricity bills lies in the redressal of Sindh government grievances by the centre.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Allah Bachayo Memon
Chief Minister House
Cell: +92-300-3524057 (Ext: 336)
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