ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday announced that the federal government has decided to conduct an audit of power plants set-up by the previous government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the information minister said, “The PML-N government signed agreements to produce electricity at extremely high costs.”
“Quaid-e-Azam solar plant is the most expensive power plant in the world,” he claimed.
The information minister further said that the price of electricity was increased by Rs1.32 owing to different power plants. “The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has initiated inquiry against LNG plants set-up in Punjab.”
Stating that the government has decided to carry out an audit of all power plants in the country, Chaudhry added, “We have already started the audit of two power plants.”
Chaudhry continued, “During its last two years, the PML-N government increased the power tariff to Rs15.53 per unit. The electricity which was generated at that cost is being sold to the people for Rs11.71 per unit.”
Claiming that the PML-N carried out “criminal acts,” he said that they took decisions and huge loans without any economic plans. “The way PML-N played with the institutions needs to be brought forward,” the information minister added.
He further said, “It is not fair to blame the current government for PML-N’s failed policies.”
The information minister further vowed that there will be no compromises on the process of accountability and said, “It is not the government’s but the Pakistani people’s decision to hold the corrupt accountable.”
However, stating that when calls for accountability are made “some friends suggest that we should not go against opposition parties,” Chaudhry questioned, “When everything has to run like this then what is the need for PTI to be in power?”
“Whenever accountability is spoken about, it is said that the democracy is in danger,” he added. “People are not even aware and billions are being discovered in their accounts.”
He further said that the government is taking steps against money laundering and to increase investment in the country.
Claiming that a loss of Rs2.63 is being incurred on every unit of electricity, Chaudhry said, “During the winter and summer, the government is facing a loss of Rs3 billion on a daily basis owing to which the circular debt increased by Rs34 billion per year.”
Chauhdry clarified, “National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) determines the power tariff and was created by the previous governments not us.”
“NEPRA informed us that we should increase the prices of electricity or incur a loss on a daily basis,” he added while stating that the demand for electricity stands at 14,000MW today.
He further said, “We tried our best to ensure that the poor are not affected by the hike in gas prices and are striving to fix things.”
The information minister also clarified that no decision regarding a hike in power tariffs was taken during the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting. “Federal Minister for Energy Umar Ayub is out of town and a decision will be taken during the next ECC meeting,” he added.
Chauhdry also stated that the premier will take the nation into confidence regarding all matters soon. “Pakistan’s future is bright and there will be good news soon.”
Commenting on the by-polls that were held on October 14, the information minister stated, “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) set a new example as no minister visited any constituency.”
“All parties were allied against us, but still they could not defeat us and PTI secured the most seats,” he concluded.