Senate body to conclude discussions on Rs 480 bln Circular Debt

Senate Assembly

Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: Sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization is likely to conclude discussions, on Thursday February 16, on the issue of Rs480 circular debt payments had made during the year 2013.
The senate committee had to submit its report on the issue to the Standing Committee on Finance by February 20, source said adding that the sub-committee on February 16 may finalize its consideration and prepare the report accordingly.
The committee has summoned all the stakeholders including Finance Division, Ministry of Water and Power, Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), Chairman Federal board of Revenue, Chairman NEPRA, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues, Managing Director PEPCO and other stakeholders.
All these stakeholders have been asked to come up with proper documentation and records during the upcoming meeting so that the committee finalizes its findings.
The sources said that earlier meeting held on the issue remained inclusive because they alleged all the stakeholders had failed to come with proper documents regarding the payments of the power sector debt.
It is pertinent to mention here that the sub-committee is headed by Mohsin Raza, with Senator Kamil Ali Agha and Senator Saud Majeed as its members while Minister of Finance is its Ex-Officio member.
During its earlier meeting the committee had expressed concern that the concerned quarters failed to conduct pre audit before clearing Rs 480 billion circular debt in 2013, adding that pre audit would have been conducted just in one to three days.
The committee had already expressed its observation that holding of pre audit of Rs 480 billion circular debt of power sector in 2013 before its clearance could have saved a hefty amount for the national exchequer.
The Finance Ministry is of the view that the amount was released in emergency keeping in view the loss to GDP by 2% due to energy shortage and load shedding of 10 12 hours per day. In addition, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had called for guarantees of the government and subsequently approached the Supreme Court, which prompted the government to resolve the issue immediately.
The Senate Finance Committee had held at least four meetings to sort out this particular issue which remained inconclusive. Consequently, the sub-committee was constituted on December 1, 2016 to prepare report on its findings on the circular debt issue.