Senate passes 1 Big resolution to end monopoly in power sector

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Senate passes 1 Big resolution to end monopoly in power sector

In a rare instance, both the administration and the opposition in the Senate agreed to abolish the power industry’s monopoly and develop a system to enable customers create and obtain affordable electricity.
ISLAMABAD: On Monday, the government and opposition in the Senate unanimously approved a resolution calling for the end of the power industry’s monopoly and the development of a system to enable customers create and access affordable electricity.
Both parties underlined their significant worry over the steadily rising cost of electricity and cited monopoly “mafias” as the primary barrier to switching to less expensive technologies for generating electricity. Both sides of the issue engaged in a passionate debate in the Senate.

The government should permit public-private partnerships and the private sector to install their own solar, wind, or local coal-based power plants in the nation with a minimum 30 megawatt capacity for electricity generation and sell electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial consumers directly on a predetermined tariff formula through their own transmission and distribution grids, according to a resolution proposed by PPP Senator Taj Haider.

To ensure that everyone would support the ground-breaking plan, the PPP legislator consented to include a modest adjustment from PTI senator Mohsin Aziz that would describe the manner of power generation. Haider, a native of Sindh, said that under the terms of an agreement, power producers were required to sell energy to K-Electric in Karachi and to distribution firms (DISCOs) in the rest of the nation, who then resold it for considerably more money. He questioned how long we would continue to practise the destructive, archaic customs.

He asserted that abolishing the private monopoly and allowing producers to sell electricity directly to customers is the best course of action in regards to the numerous issues encountered by power users who frequently experience supply interruptions despite paying a high price for it. Small solar parks may be built all around the nation, he continued, to offer people affordable power.

Then he used India as an example, where the over-the-counter selling of power has already been permitted to quicken economic development and advancement. He said that inhabitants of New Delhi were receiving up to 300 units of energy for free. He noted that the industrial sector’s manufacturing costs will decrease thanks to the direct sale of power, which will also help exports.

The public and the industry continue to suffer the burden of agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) for the purchase of energy at greater rates, according to senator Mohsin Aziz, who backed the motion. He agreed with the PPP senator’s suggestion, but made the amendment—which was included in the resolution—to identify the type of electricity generating.

Irfanul Haq Siddiqui, a senator for the PMLN, stood to support the motion and invited his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same. Although he agreed with the concept, PMLQ Senator Kamil Ali Agha expressed concern that organised crime groups with vested interests would try to obstruct its implementation. Later, the resolution’s amendment was approved.

The House approved a different resolution that was jointly proposed by the opposition and treasury benches, which asked for a two-and-a-half-year rotation of the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) between the two Houses of parliament.

Shahadat Awan, a PPP minister of state for law, attempted to block the resolution at first by arguing that it should be settled by negotiation. He further emphasised to the members that the PAC was a committee of the National Assembly.

Saleem Mandviwala, a former Senate deputy chairman and member of the PPP, said that a decision had been made to create the Senate’s own PAC during the tenure of Raza Rabbani, but it was never put into action. He predicted that the National Assembly would not support the resolution and advised the chairman to discuss it with the NA Speaker.

Dr. Shahzad Waseem, the leader of the opposition, claimed that it was a sincere demand regarding the issue of the House’s honour. Later, the resolution was approved by the entire House.

The consensus was short-lived, though, as PTI Chairman Imran Khan came under criticism from the treasury benches for accepting the march-on-Islamabad pledge from party members. Senator Sherry Rehman, the federal minister for climate change, made some comments at the swearing-in that led to a loud demonstration. Her comments caused the PTI senators to become quite angry, and the chair subsequently deleted them.

They persisted in shouting “shame, shame,” though, and several of them that she retract her comments, which she refused to do. Additionally, PTI members banged their files against desks.

The minister emphasised that the media had given the incident a lot of attention. She questioned, “In whose country does this occur when there are so many people in need of relief? She criticised the swearing-in for the lengthy march at a time when more than 20 million flood victims still required immediate assistance, including food and shelter.

He is neither organising attendees for open forums or administering the oath required for the long march. That’s fascism. Regarding Imran Khan, she pointed out that audio leaks had appeared and described how charity accounts were abused.
She added that the situation was not normal due to the severity of the floods, adding that the $40 billion worldwide projections were cautious. “Unlike the 2010 floods, whereby 20 million people were impacted by, the latest floods affected 33 million people. 435 bridges and more than 13,000KM of roads were destroyed, she continued.

According to PTI leader Dr. Shazad Waseem, corruption and the ineptitude of the ruling class killed more people than floods ever could. He answered, “Neither an earthquake nor a flood caused it; it was your ineptitude; everyone knows about climate change, but where were your plans to deal with it?

He said that the minister had barely ever been in the House and queried where she had been while it was discussing floods, adding that they were fleeing the House and would soon take off for another nation. He claimed that landowners protected their property and redirected water to the crops of underprivileged producers.