Sep 09, 2019: Federal Minister for Power Umar Ayub Khan on Monday said that Pakistan would challenge the heavy fines imposed by International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Reko Diq and Karke cases.
Addressing a press conference here at PID, he said that in Reko Diq and Karke, ICSID had imposed $6.2 billion and $1.2 billion fines respectively. The country could not afford such huge fines. In fact no developing country could afford heavy fines as the assets of some defaulting countries had already been confiscated in the past.
He said Rousch company was seeking local mediation while 11 other companies have opted for international mediation.
Questions were being raised on Rousch Company’s local mediation. Rousch Power Company was the project of 425 MW power. Thorough investigations have revealed that the case of Rousch was genuine and it could win the case, he added.
The minister said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had decided out of court settlement of Rousch in Economic Coordination Council meeting held in 2017.
Umar Ayub said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government believed in merit and was trying to resolve the chronic issues. The incumbent government wanted to resolve power sector issues. This would bring foreign investment besides creating employment opportunities in the country, he added.
He said transparency and merit was the top priority of the present government.
He said that previous government put burden of extra charges on Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which compelled them to go for local and international arbitration.
Umar Ayub said that when PTI government came into power, load shedding was rampant in various parts of the country. It worked day and night and brought improvements in Load shedding. The government had also improved power production and transmission system.
He said no complaint of malfunctioning of 8,810 feeders was received in last Ramazan and efficiency ratio was improved by 99 percent.
Nowadays only 130 feeders were closed across the country owing to technical reasons while 99 percent were in working condition. The government was taking steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the holy month of Muharram.
He said the government has declared the current year as the year of power distribution for which heavy investment was being made, to improve transmission system.
He said the decision regarding Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) was correct and when objections were raised the government filed a petition in apex court. The government would use the amount of GIDC on gas infrastructure development, in case of favourable decision by the Supreme Court.
Responding to a question, he said Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were being paid 80 to 88 percent of their dues from 2017 whereas energy and fuel charges were being paid 100 percent to IPPs.
The incumbent government has brought down the volume of circular debts and it would be ended by December 2019.