Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Wednesday said that the government was planning to invest over Rs111 billion in the power transmission system during the next three years.
In a National Assembly session, chaired by Amjad Khan Niazi, the energy minister said that the transmission line projects will take place in several areas of the country.
Hammad Azhar told the house that the government has issued directives to both Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited to conceive a viable plan to rehabilitate the damaged pipelines within a month. He said the decision has been taken to address issues of gas pressure.
“We have not signed power contracts,” he said, responding to a question. He added that due to the contracts signed by the previous governments, the capacity payments had reached Rs800 billion.
“We have reduced the annual flow of circular debt from Rs450 billion to Rs130 billion.”
PPP’s Nafisa Shah said that under the current government circular debt had increased four times. “Your government has recently increased electricity tariff. Rs34 billion is being collected from the consumers, this is extortion.”
However, responding to the criticism, Hamad Azhar pointed out that the circular debt has come down from Rs400 billion annually to Rs330 billion.
Later, during the Question Hour, the ministry of law in its written reply stated that during the tenure of the incumbent National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, the anti-graft body received an amount of Rs519 billion directly and indirectly.
Similarly, Rs502 billion was transferred to the concerned government agencies and victims of scams.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bokhari told the panel that the incumbent government had introduced legal reforms to ensure the just and expeditious disposal of civil and criminal cases.
“We have introduced legislation including Code of Civil Procedure Amendment Act, Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act, the Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act and Legal Aid and Justice Authority Act.”
She further said that the law ministry has consulted with relevant stakeholders and will soon introduce Criminal Law Reforms Bill to strengthen the criminal justice system.
The house will now meet on Friday (tomorrow) at 10:30am.