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CJP warns of strict action against corrupt elements in power sector

Tariq Ullah Wardak

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Wednesday warned that corruption would not be tolerated in the power sector and a strict action would be taken against the corrupt elements.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) was heading a three-judge bench, which heard a suo moto case regarding non-provision of electricity by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) despite receiving excessive payments from the government.

During the course of proceedings, Justice Ijazul Hasan observed that 10 IPPs had received additional amount of Rs159 million each but they were not producing the electricity.

The Secretary Power Decision apprised the court that according to an agreement between the government and the IPPs, payments were to be made to the latter even if they were not generating electricity.

The chief justice remarked that millions of rupees of the nation had been doled out to the IPPs irrespective of the fact that as to whether they generated electricity or not. Elsewhere in the world, such agreements were being cancelled, he added.

He asked who were the persons who had made the agreements, warning that action would be taken against the corrupt.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar  remarked that the circular debt had risen to billions of rupees. Neither the people nor industries were getting electricity but the IPPs kept getting money, he added.

Justice Faisal Arab questioned why did you not supply electricity as the government faced a shortfall of electricity.

The counsel for the power company responded that the National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC) determined the demand and then the IPPs produced electricity as per its requisition.

The CJP then asked the Secretary Power Division that he wanted to understand the case. “You must have prepared a presentation for the prime minister,” he added.

Subsequently, the apex court summoned Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub on the next date of hearing.