SC summons federal minister for power over agreements made with IPPs

ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked agreements made with independent power producers (IPPs) have become a noose around our necks.

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Secretary power division, counsels of power companies and representatives of IPPs appeared before the court as a bench headed by the chief justice heard a suo motu case of excessive payments made to IPPs.

As the hearing went under way, Justice Ijazul Ahsan turned to the power secretary and said, “As per the report, each IPP was paid an excessive amount of Rs159 million. You made payments based on capacity.”

Further, the chief justice remarked, “Millions of rupees of the nation were given away whether they generated electricity or not. Across the world, such agreements are being cancelled.”

The secretary power told the court, “Whether electricity is taken or not, payments are made based on capacity.” At this, the chief justice said, “Million and billions of rupees are just paid like that. We are sending this matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Commenting on the remarks of the power company’s counsel, the chief justice said, “Agreements with IPPs have become a noose around our necks. We don’t know who those people were who made these agreements. Whether electricity was provided or not, money was given. These people were darlings.”

“The circular debt rose to millions and billions. Neither people nor industries got electricity but IPPs kept getting money,” he added.

The court then summoned Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan and went on break.

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