Decisions related to electricity taken by any ministry other than CCI are illegal: Murad

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the any decision regarding electricity by any committee or ministry other than CCI is illegal and unconstitutional, therefore all the letters issued by Cabinet Committee on Energy and others must be withdrawn.

This he said while talking to Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Energy Shahzad Qasim here at CM House. The meeting was attended by Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid jamal Abro and Secretary Energy Musadiq Khan.

The chief minister said that unilateral and arbitrary decision of Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) has created an alarming situation adversely affecting provincial interest. He added that Electricity appears at Entry No.4, Part-II, Schedule IV in the federal legislative list of the constitution and Council of Common Interest (CCI) was only constitutional forum to decide such policy issues.

“Any policy decision by CCoE on electricity is a clear transgression and infringement into the domain of CCI,” he said.

He said that CCoE has unilaterally directed to reduce life of solar and wind projects from 20 to 15 years. The CCoE has also imposed selective embargo on processing of ongoing small hydro, wind and solar projects.

He urged the Special assistant of the prime Minister to continue all the renewable Energy (RE) projects possessing LOIs under RE policy 2006. Elaborating RE policy 2006 the chief minister said that it provided a lucrative fiscal and monetary incentives to investors.

“It [the policy] offers attractive returns on equity of 17 percent (in US dollars) and the power purchaser is responsible for providing interconnection to the transmission lines. Wheeling of electricity is allowed and the policy allows net metering and billing and facilitate the projects to obtain carbon credits.”

He said and added “I would suggest that CCoE and ECC should not take any decision regarding electricity in future because CCI is the right forum,” he said.

Mr Shah said that if the RE projects and tariffs as low as under five cents were not allowed to develop, the public exchequer would continue to bleed by expensive energy and forex outflows on fuel purchase. At this Mr Shahzad Qasim, an energy expert, said that if 1000 MW RE power project were installed the government would be able to save Rs14 billion in forex every year. “Therefore, we have to focus on the production of RE projects,” he said.

The chief minister said that the province of Sindh has 60 km long and 80 km wide wind corridor coastal belt. He added that the province of Sindh was known as Energy Hub of Pakistan because it has the capacity to produce 55,000 MW wind energy in Thatta, 10 GW solar energy (average 5.5 kWh/m2/day), 130 MW Hydero (low head and Run of the River), 1,000 MW Bagasse Cogeneration, 500 MW water energy (Karachi produces 11,000 MT garbage daily), 550 MW Geothermal.

“The federal government is requested to approve the stuck up RE projects at its end so that work could be started on the projects and in this more private companies would be attracted,” he said.

The prime minister’s Special Assistant Mr Shahzad Qasim assured the chief minister of his support and congratulated him on almost completion of Thar Coal Mining and Power project. “It was a difficult task but Murad Ali Shah with his commitment made it possible,” he said. On the invitation of the chief minister MR Shahzad Qasim would visit Thar Coal Mining and Power Project on Tuesday. He would be taken their by Provincial Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh.