Prime Minister Imran Khan has agreed to make the critical power sector report public to expose people responsible for expensive energy production in the country. It was decided in the cabinet meeting on Tuesday on Planning Minister, Asad Umar’s call.
Asad, who is now enjoying his extended role in the cabinet and chairs the Coordination Committee on Energy (CCoE) on PM Khan’s directions, had called for the public release of this report which highlighted multitrillion losses to the national exchequer in the past 25 years.
Moreover, the Prime Minister also approved the formation of a high-power inquiry commission to identify the responsible officials and rulers to bring them to justice.
Some of the baffling revelations in the report identified that during the last 13 years alone, the national kitty bore a loss of a whopping Rs. 4 trillion due to expensive electricity generation by independent power producers (IPPs), rental plants, and other shady deals.
It mentioned that about 16 IPPs invested Rs. 51 billion in the sector during the said period and earned more than Rs. 400 billion.
Ironically, the report also includes names of some of PM Khan’s current and former aides, such as Razak Dawood, and Nadeem Babar, among those investors who minted more profits than legally allowed.
The inquiry led by former Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Mohammad Ali also exposed massive corruption and irregularities in the power transmission line projects started under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It indicates that the Matiari–Lahore transmission line project which has a total cost of $2.1 billion was 234% costlier than similar projects in India and other countries. The project will transfer electricity up to 878 kilometers from Matiari, Sindh, to Nankana Sahib District near Lahore.
Asad Umar first floated the idea of making this report public during the CCoE meeting on Monday. His demand, however, met with reservations from the officials of the Power Ministry who believed that the move might hurt Pakistan’s relations with some foreign countries.