Opposition stages walkout against electricity deal

PESHAWAR: Opposition members in Provincial Assembly on Monday staged walkout from the house against an agreement between the provincial government and WAPDA over the issue of power tariff.An adjournment motion was moved against the deal by the JUI MPA from Karak district.
The mover observed that under the agreement the provincial government withdrew its petition filed in High Court against the unilateral hike in power rates in the province by the power distribution company, adding that the deal resulted in putting extra burden on consumers in the form of 27 per cent increase in power tariff in the province.He further said the house should be informed as to why the provincial government had agreed upon the withdrawal of the case.Opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani while supporting the adjournment motion said ruling party had claimed to provide free electricity up to 100 units across the province after coming into power.However, he added, the nationalist party backtracked from its stance and signed a deal with WAPDA which put extra burden on consumers of the province, which generates a major portion of electricity production in the country.Durrani said that the house should be taken into confidence about the main clauses of the agreement.
Responding to objections of the opposition, Law Minister Arshad Abdullah said that provincial government had filed the petition against difference in electricity tariff as PESCO was charging higher rate from the consumers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa than the one charged by power companies in other provinces.However, he continued, after the passage of 18 amendment now all the power companies would charge uniform electricity rate from their consumers in the country, therefore, provincial government had no justification to pursue the case, he maintained.He informed that it had been decided through the agreement that WAPDA would not collect arrears from the consumers.Rather it had been decided that provincial and federal governments would pay the amount which was Rs6 billion, the minister said.Speaker Kiramatullah Khan put the motion for vote which was defeated by majority as it failed to secure 14 required votes for its passage. Later, the opposition members staged walkout from the assembly – Statesman