Business community lauds PM stance over NAB

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Salim Ahmed

Lahore—The business community of the country has applauded the recent stance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with regards to the abuse of power by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). ‘Business community in general and APTMA member in particular are firmly standing shoulder to shoulder with the Government of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to help them in their efforts to reduce the power shortage in the country for the development and growth of the economy and reduce the unemployment in the country,’ said an APTMA spokesperson.
He said that their Member Mills supplied electricity to national grid on the request of the Federal Government from the idle capacities of their captive power plants to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity in the country at much cheaper rates as compared to Independent Power Producers (IPPs). As a matter of fact, it was a major contribution to the national exchequer than a loss. Sources at textile industry confirmed that the Prime Minister was provoked by recent reports in which some of the All Pakistan Textiles Mills Association (Aptma) members which started supplying electricity to national grid came under NAB’s microscopes.
Interestingly, source added, in some provinces NAB authorities rejected complaints against Aptma members while some of the identical cases are being pursued in some of its offices. According to the details, Aptma asked its members in 2006 to consider selling electricity from their idle capacities based on furnace oil. In this regard, Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) issued a letter to Nepra in June 2007 stating ‘in view of the prevailing energy crisis, we need to immediately inject into the power system the RFO-based surplus power available with small power producers (under APTMA).’ The CPPA then sought the consent of Chairman Nepra for the following: Nepra will allow Discos a onetime special relaxation for agreement of tariff with SPPs without formal prior approval by Nepra; Nepra will waive off licence requirements for those small power producers (under Aptma) who have as yet not obtained the same. And, the Discos will ensure that their tariff agreement with SPPs will be less than the prevailing 1st ten years levelized tariff benchmark set by Nepra for leading business houses like Nishat-Chunian and Atlas Power.