Payment of arrears sought: KP wants centre to uncap net hydel profit

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan HotiPESHAWAR: An All Parties` Conference, convened by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Monday, demanded of the centre to uncap net profit on hydel power generation.

“The participants of the conference also demanded of the federal government to pay arrears on net hydel profit to the province as a whole instead of paying the same in installments,” Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain told journalists after the daylong conference.He said that they urged federal government to solve the issue of arrears amicably through negotiation otherwise other means of recovery would be adopted. The conference also expressed concern over the capping of net hydel power profit at Rs6 billion per annum, he added.

The conference was convened to take political parties into confidence about the planned hydel generation projects and correspondence with the federal government about net hydel power profit.Besides the ruling Awami National Party and Pakistan People`s Party, the conference was attended by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan People`s Party-Sherpao, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid.

The representatives of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf couldn`t attend the conference as they were busy in Lahore in connection with their rally. However, they conveyed to the provincial government that any decision taken at the APC would be acceptable to them. Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti chaired the APC, held at Chief Minister`s House.

Mr Hussain said that the chief minister told the conference that negotiations with the federal government to uncap net hydel power profit were in progress. “Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has constituted a committee for uncapping the net hydel profit. The committee has so far held two meetings but without any outcome,” he said.The minister said if the matter was not resolved through negotiations then all parties would definitely decide future line of action to get their rights at any cost.

He said that under the 10-year Hydel Power Projects Action Plan, Rs350 billion would be spent on 24 projects that would produce 2,100 megawatts power.He said that the province had huge potential of power generation. “Careful planning will lead to a sizable increase in the provincial resources,” he added.According to him, the participants of the conference lauded the provincial government and said if those projects were launched 10 years ago they would have sufficient electricity for catering to their needs.Mr Hussain said that all such projects were the ownership of all political parties. He stressed the need for incessant progress on such projects so that masses of the province could get benefit from them. He said that chief minister urged the participants of APC to continue those projects as one of the parties would rule the province in future.

On this occasion the APC also sanctioned the chief minister to get the Chashma Left Canal financed from the World Bank. He thanked leaders of all the political parties for their participation in the conference.“The chief Minister informed the APC about resources being received by the province as water use charges of Sooki Kinari and Patrand Hydro Power projects,” Mr Hussain said.

The Sooki Kinari Hydro Power Project would produce 840 megawatts electricity. The construction cost of the project was $1.6 billion while the province would receive Rs1,242 million revenue from it annually, he said. The minister termed the APC as highly successful initiative. “A similar jirga held in the holy month of Ramazan this year had also agreed to uncap the net hydel profit amount of Rs6 billion and lump sum payment of the arrears instead of receiving it in installments,” he added.He said that the APC was told that Wapda had not paid three installments of Rs6 billion on account of net hydel profit and was using delaying tactics in implementation of an already agreed formula on which the provincial government expressed reservations. – Dawn