Burying the demon

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Federal Cabinet made few big, bold and pro-people decisions in its meeting on Tuesday, which included making public power sector inquiry committee report, setting up a commission of inquiry to carry out a detailed probe into the shady agreements of power sector projects made during the previous governments and reconstitution Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP). In a media briefing after the cabinet meeting, Planning Minister, Asad Umar told that a Commission of Inquiry will make further probe into the Nitti Gritty of power sector agreements, which have been identified in the report of inquiry committee headed by Former Chairman SECP and will finalise a comprehensive report on the matter within 90 days. The Planning Minister, while chairing the meeting of cabinet committee on energy (CCoE) on Monday, emphasied making public the inquiry committee report on power sector projects. However, the ministry of energy opposed the proposal, arguing that it will cast negative implications for Pakistan’s relations with other countries. It is worth mentioning that IPPs advisory council has sent a letter to the power division the other day insisting therein to treat it as a classified document in the interest of future investments in power sector projects. Powerful lobbies of IPPs in the corridors of power were making efforts to influence the likely cabinet decision on making public the inquiry committee report. But the cabinet decision has now made it crystal clear that the Prime Minister Imran Khan will never compromise his principled and firm stand on establishing the basic fundamentals of true democracy i.e. transparency, rule of law, equity and justice for all. This decision by the cabinet indicates that from now onwards the original PTI cadres will have a greater say in decision making process in line with the vision of PM to elevate Pakistan to its true glory. Sensing the startling revelations regarding the age-long power sector agreements by the previous governments if inquiry committee report goes public, Khalid Mansoor CEO Hubco and Chairman IPP Advisory Council, while dropping a hint of holding negotiation with government on the highly detrimental to national interest ‘capacity trap clause and electricity generation cost, had warned the government against making unilateral changes in the power purchase agreements or their complete scrapping. He had cautioned that once again London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) shall be approached, referring to the litigation debacle of last PML-N government in this court in September,2017. This was a glaring bullying tactics to frighten a government of razor thin majority and weaken its determination shown for establishing the fundamentals of transparency and rules of law, sin qua none of true democracy. The agreements had been made under the energy policy of 1994 during the PPP, second tenure of government, which accrued a loss of Rs.1000 billion to the national exchequer during the past 12 years by making excessive payments to IPPs. Let us hope this demon shall be buried forever.