Govt re-negotiating IPPs contracts in national interest

Govt re-negotiating IPPs contracts in national interest

LAHORE, Aug 24 (APP):Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mehmood said the negotiations underway with IPPs would result in a number of advantages with major one being reduction in circular debt.

“The biggest challenge before the PTI government when it came into power two years back was almost Rs 1200 to 1400 billion circular debt “, said federal minister while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 220kV/132kV Ghazi Road GIS Grid Station, near Burki road here on Monday.

He acknowledged that “no doubt electricity related problems hamper the development of the country but the government is committed to solve them”. Absence of electricity not only halts the smooth functioning of industry sector but also creates problems for common man, he said.

However, he congratulated National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) for completing the important project with great efficiency.

The minister said that it was not easy to be a Chief of Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and appreciated LESCO’s timely response to the complaints of people.

He also appreciated NTDC and added that without their work it was difficult to achieve development or move forward.

He said that in the 90’s electricity crisis took roots and agreements were made with the Independent Power Producers ( IPPs).

He added that those agreements helped in tackling the electricity crisis but also created problems during last many years.

He said it was a big challenge for national departments like NTDC, LESCO and other DISCOs who dealt with production and distribution of electricity.

However,he said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was renegotiating to weed out multiple issues and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard had been signed. There was a need to revise things in the contract, he added.

“We want Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to play their role as we are not against them”,he said.

Federal Minister said that various dams were being constructed,and mentioned Diamer and Mohmand dams, adding that these mega projects would improve the storage capacity of water, besides producing electricity at lower rates.

NTDC Managing Director Khawaja Riffat, LESCO CEO Mujahid Pervaiz and NESPAK Managing Director Dr Tahir were also present on the occasion.