WB asks govt to help WAPDA recover its Rs 33.9b arrears
By Khalid Mustafa
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) has expressed grave concern over Rs 33.9 billion Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) arrears outstanding with the federal and provincial governments, WAPDA sources told Daily Times.
“The bank has asked the federal government to immediately help WAPDA recover the arrears to facilitate its corporatisation and the privatisation of generation and distribution companies (GenCos and DisCos) formerly owned by WAPDA,” sources said.
WAPDA’s arrears outstanding with the federally administered tribal areas (FATA) have increased to Rs 26.9 billion, 79.4% of the total outstanding amount, though WAPDA has brought down volume arrears from Rs 34.4 billion in February to Rs 33.9 billion in June.
The Ministry of Water and Power has asked the Ministry of Finance to deduct at source WAPDA arrears against the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), FATA and government departments to improve WAPDA’s financial health. “WAPDA won’t need financial assistance from the federal government if the arrears are cleared,” source said.
Source said the federal government owed Rs 1.34 billion to WAPDA, including Rs 0.1 billion of federal departments, Rs 0.27 billion of federal agencies and Rs 0.99 billion of defence and AJK owed Rs 1.241 billion, including Rs 0.34 billion on the head of subsidy the government of Pakistan has to pay to WAPDA at the rate of Rs 1.05 per unit for providing cheap electricity to AJK. The four federating units owe Rs 2.65 billion to WAPDA – Punjab owes Rs 0.39 billion, NWFP Rs 0.84 billion, Sindh Rs 1.17 billion and Balochistan Rs 0.23 billion.
Sources said it was decided at a meeting, chaired by Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf and attended by the WAPDA chairman and the four governors in September 2000, that WAPDA arrears would be reconciled with the respective parties before clearance. “But such has not been done yet and that’s why the power utility company has asked the Ministry of Finance to consider its figures as reconciled and deduct them at source.”