Govt Forms Arbitration Panel for Settlement of Rs. 50 Billion Dispute with IPPs

The federal government has appointed an arbitration panel for the settlement of a dispute worth Rs. 50 billion with Independent Power Plants (IPPs).

In this regard, it has nominated an arbitrator for the case to a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice (R) Shaikh Azmat Saeed. Additional Attorney General Qasim Wadud was also nominated for assisting a law firm that has to be nominated for this case. The nomination of the Qadud has been done on the basis of his experience as he was already involved in the negotiations with the IPPs and is fully conversant with the issues on hand.

The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) had constituted an implementation committee on 24 September 2020, led by the Minister for Energy to effectuate the revisions regarding the IPPs in various terms and conditions into formal agreements. Wadud was one of the members of the committee.

The government thinks that some IPPs have made Rs. 50 billion excessive claims out of a total of Rs. 450 billion, and declared it a disputed amount with the IPPs. According to the government, the IPPs had breached the Power Policy 2002 and contracts by claiming an excessive profit.

To settle the issue, it has decided to move the case to arbitration under the Power Policy 2002 and has nominated the head of the arbitration panel and Justice (R) Saeed.

Justice (R) Saeed was part of the bench that had disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in July 2017. After his retirement, he was assigned different duties by the PTI government and was tasked to look into the controversy relating to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the UK-based asset recovery firm, Broadsheet LLC. Later on, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Punjab Commission on Irregular Housing Societies by the Government of Punjab.

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