Former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Karachi president and central core committee member Ali Zaidi has termed the Sindh New Captive Power Plant Subsidy Bill, 2017 as highway robbery of the people of Sindh.
The Sindh government rammed the Sindh New Captive Power Plant (NCPP) Subsidy Bill, 2017 through the Sindh Assembly on the same day as it repealed the NAB Ordinance with little attention paid by the media and the public of its possible adverse ramifications.
All these NCPP’s use natural gas to generate electricity. These gas connections were allotted by Asif Zardari when he was president, at a time when industrial gas connections were banned.
It is the responsibility and jurisdiction of National Electric Power Authority (NEPRA) to determine the tariffs of power plants after assessment of all costs, inclusive of line losses, and reasonable build in profit for the producer.
Omni group owned by Anwar Majeed wanted more money than NEPRA had determined and filled a petition in the Sind High Court. They lost a case to NEPRA in the SHC. The SHC determined that Omni Group NCPP’s were not entitled to the tariff they were asking; which was more than double of what NEPRA had determined.
The Omni Group then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Supreme Court has still not granted them a stay nor there have been any hearings of this case so far.
So now how can the Government of Sindh pass a bill on an issue they lost in the SHC and when their appeal is still pending with the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan?
According to the Sindh NCCP Subsidy Bill, 2017, the NCPP’s, mostly owned by Anwar Majeed’s Omni Group will be entitled to cover the difference of tariff per unit through a subsidy by the Sind government for10 years and that to extendable by just a gazette notification.
These subsidies to the NCPP’s will put a huge burden on the tax payers in Sindh. This is clear highway robbery and fleecing of the tax payers of the poor people Sindh.
Question is, why does the Government of Sindh suddenly feel that NCPP’s need to earn even more money than what NEPRA and the High Court determined?
The main beneficiaries are clearly Asif Ali Zardari and Anwar Majeed of Omni Group, as they have the NCPPs already installed, mainly in their existing sugar mills and other industrial plants.
Interestingly, only NCPP’s that come on line within 18 months of the law are eligible to receive subsidy. We all know that 18 months is not sufficient time to be incentivized by the subsidy and to set up a new plant, so why has this 18-month period being proposed?
‘If Sindh wants to promote electricity generation, why is it not offering subsidy to new plants which generate alternate energy instead of giving it to plants that are over 10 years old’.
‘I demand that the Sind governor should not give assent to both the NAB & NCPP subsidy bills and send them back to the provincial government. ‘On behalf of PTI, I am ready with my lawyers to take both these matters to the court’.