Responding to an offer made by water and power minister Khawaja Asif, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is ready to take control of not only the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) but all the public-sector entities in the province which the “federal government has failed to run efficiently”.
Speaking at a press conference, PTI leader Asad Omar said if Khawaja Asif was serious in offering Pesco management to the KP government and was not just scoring points, he should set up a committee to work out a plan for the purpose. KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak will soon write a letter to the federal government in this regard.
If given a chance, he said, the provincial government would try to improve the performance of the power company.
According to Mr Omar, 20 per cent of the electricity produced by Pesco goes to waste through line losses. These losses, coupled with theft, leads to a shortfall in supply and subsequent hike in tariff.
He said if Pesco was indeed handed over to the provincial government, it would employ latest technology to reduce line losses and curb theft which would help in lowering the cost of production and bringing down the tariff.
Answering a question, Mr Omar said that under an agreement the federal government had to pay KP an annual royalty of Rs7.5 billion for power generated at dams in the province but it had not been paid over the years.
As a result, dues of Rs108bn have been accumulated against the centre which should be cleared at the earliest.