ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday approved the privatisation of Lakhra Power Project.
The CCI has approved the transfer of power producers to provinces in a phased manner. This was decided in a meeting of the CII under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A private TV channel on Monday reported that issue of census was postponed till the next meeting; however, it approved transfer of power producers to provinces in a phase by phase manner. The meeting also approved annual report of the National Electronic Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that presently the government has very limited resources to bear losses of state enterprises. He noted that in the past, unnecessary recruitments and corruption has resulted in miss-management of these organisations and therefore in the national interest, privatisation is the only solution, said the prime minister. He added that governance is a collective responsibility and all the provinces have to work in tandem to ensure it.
The CCI decided to continue with the policy of 2011 regarding privatisation of power sector entities i.e. DISCOs and GENCOs. The CCI approved issuance of sovereign guarantee for Thar coal mining project. Prime Minister Nawaz said that the Thar Coal is an important national project and has to be fully supported as it would provide the much-needed electricity at cheap rates. Moreover, it was decided that sovereign guarantees would be provided for all future coal-based projects.
The CCI also approved the National Energy (Power) Policy 2013-18. It expressed its dissatisfaction over the performance of NEPRA and it was decided that a diagnostic analysis be conducted in order to improve its performance. The prime minister directed that provincial consultation should be mandatory before appointment of board members in public sector companies so that equal representation is ensured. The CCI was presented with annual report 2012-13, which was approved.
The Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill 2013 was approved by the CCI. On the issue of purchase of 20 percent shares of PPL, OGDCL and SSGCL at their face value under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, Prime Minister Nawaz directed the Finance Division to hold detailed consultations with the provinces. The Ministry of Water and Power was directed to hold meetings with all the provinces to discuss the principles and decide a mechanism for at-source deduction of outstanding power sector payables of provinces. The CCI also decided to expedite the transfer of properties in the name of PTCL so that revenue of $800 million could be realised.
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