ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): Federal Minister for Economic Affairs
Umar Ayoub Khan has alleged that previous government of Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) planted landmines for the next
government by deteriorating all institutions and collapsing the national
Participating in the federal budget debate in the National Assembly,
Umar Ayoub Khan said the previous government had abolished more
than 134 Renewable Energy (RE) projects of 4,000 Megawatt (MW) to
make a quick buck through the‘LNG train,’ creating opportunities for
loot and plunder of the national wealth.
He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government after
coming into power revived all these projects and brought a new RE
policy, under which inexpensive electricity was being produced.
Umar Ayoub said the PML-N government gave the solar projects’ tariff
of Rs 23-24 per unit, which the incumbent government brought down
to Rs 6.5 per unit within the period of one year.
Quoting official reports of the Planning Commission and media
publications of February 2018, he said that last year of the PML-N
government in power, which showed the previous government had
failed to deliver in all sectors, and the national economy totally
collapsed due to its wrong policies.
Private investment also fell far below the target of 16.7 percent
despite the bonanza of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
While, imports remained far higher than the target of restricting to
$31.1 million,” he read from one the reports.
Umar Ayoub said the PTI government inherited a $20 billion current
account deficit from the previous government that also failed in
controlling the fiscal deficit.
He said Matiari to Lahore High Voltage Director Current (HVDC)
transmission line was near to completion, adding that the government
was dealing with the issue of capacity charges ‘fixed-payment’ so that
it could be matched with the quantum of planned supply.
The minister said in 2013, the capacity payment [whether you use or
not] was Rs 185 billion that increased to Rs 468 billion in 2018, due to
the PML-N government’s wrong agreements of ‘take or pay.’
“Today 70 percent energy-mix of the country depends on the imported
fuel,” he observed, adding this year the capacity payment would reach
Rs 860 billion and by 2023 it would be Rs 1,455 billion due to faulty
strategy and policies of the previous government.
The PTI government, Umar Ayoub said, had renegotiated the
agreements which would help save Rs 4,000 billion in the next 15
He said during the PML-N tenure the Residual Fuel Oil (RFO) usage in
power plants remained 29 percent, which the PTI government brought
down to 4 percent. “With this, we saved billions of rupees.”
Umar Ayoub said an amount of Rs 64 billion was payable to the
Pakistan State Oil by the Nandipur Power project management, but
when the record was checked, it came to know that the payment had
been made but misappropriated by the previous government.
Recounting the incumbent government’s achievements, he said this
year the flow of circular debt had been reduced by Rs 100 billion as
compared to 2018, by shutting down inefficient plants and
renegotiating the agreements.
He said the PTI government spent more than Rs 49 billion in up-
gradation of electricity transmission lines, and during last summer as
many as 25,000 MW electricity was transmitted through the system,
which at 18,000 MW in 2018 – the last year of the PML-N government.
Commenting on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), he said in 2017, the
Punjab government approved the 4th LNG-based power plant at a cost
of Rs 80 billion without any agreement and keeping in view its
viability. He said the National Power Control Centre had informed in
writing that the plant would remain 90 percent closed in a year.
The minister said the PML-N during its tenure also signed expensive
LNG import agreements on ‘take or pay’ basis that caused billions of
rupees loss to the national exchequer. Besides it declared the LNG
petroleum product and with this the gas sector’s circular debt had
reached Rs 300-350 billion. “It was for the first time that the gas
sector faced circular debt.”
Whereas, he said, the PTI government signed a new 10-year LNG
agreement, after expiry of one of the two existing contracts, with
Qatar at 10.2 percent of the Brent, which would help save an amount
of $3.5 billion in the commodity’s import.
He said the PML-N government collected an amount of Rs 295 billion
on account of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) but it
[collected amount] had no trace in any file, terming it another proof of
the previous government’s corrupt practices.
Omar Ayub said a Planning Commission report of the PML-N’s tenure
had stated that loans had to be taken as debt-to-GDP ratio had
increased, adding the current account deficit surged due to wrong the
exchange rate policy [by artificially maintaining dollar at Rs100 for four
years] of the previous government, causing a loss of $23-24 billion.
Commenting on the performance of the Pakistan Peoples Party
government in Sindh, he said around Rs 1,220 billion still unspent,
which were meant to execute different projects, in the province, even
after the passage of years. “It speaks about the seriousness of the PPP
government towards welfare of the public and uplift of different sectors
of public interest.”
The minister recounted the PTI government’s welfare-oriented
initiatives introduced in the budget and expressed confidence that the
country would progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran
Based on good performance, he said “the PTI government will again
come into power after the Election-2023.”