Asad Umar hints at publicising K-Electric privatisation agreement


KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Tuesday said that if there is no legal binding on agreement with K-Electric then it should be made public, ARY NEWS reported.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a meeting on Thursday, where load shedding issues faced by the city will be discussed,” he said while speaking during ARY NEWS programme, Power Play.

He said that they are hiding nothing on the K-Electric matter as its privatization was not carried out during the PTI tenure. “If there are no legal bindings pertaining to the privatization agreement with K-Electric, then we will make it public,” he said.

Asad Umar said that a delay was caused in a process of Shanghai Power taking over K-Electric after the power utility and the government could not agree on the amount to be paid to each other in terms of dues.

He said that the K-Electric was provided gas for producing electricity for the past 20 years including the past five years of the PPP government. “Bilawal [Bhutto Zardari] tried to give an impression as Imran Khan showed leniency towards the power utility,” he said.

COVID-19 strategy 

Negating that government policies during COVID-19 ruined the economy, he compared the NCOC decisions with other countries and said that India’s growth rate declined at a fast pace as compared to Pakistan.

He said that even the United States (US) is witnessing disarray between the federation and its states over COVID-19 decisions. “However, in Pakistan, we are moving ahead with coordination, sharing data at the NCOC forum,” he said.

Asad Umar said that the testing capacity remains between 21,000 and 24,000 in the country and only those having COVID-19 symptoms are undergoing tests.

“We have witnessed a decline in COVID-19 cases,” the minister said and warned that reports of people avoiding precautionary measures could, however, led to a surge in the cases.

He claimed that the SOPs are not implemented in the cattle markets and the NCOC would discuss the matter tomorrow and come up with a strategy.

Asad Umar said that they had asked the provincial public health commissions to ensure uniform charges of COVID-19 treatment and tests in order to facilitate the masses. “It is unfortunate that people are trying to mint money event at the time of the pandemic,” the minister lamented.

CPEC projects 

Speaking on CPEC projects, the federal minister said that they had received amendments and suggestions to be made in the CPEC Authority and it would be mulled over.

“We will inaugurate the ML-1 project in the next month,” Asad Umar said adding that they would be inaugurating one project after another under the CPEC project.

He said that the government is not feeling endangered with the unity of the criminals. “Bilawal Bhutto came up with statements to topple the incumbent government during last year,” he said adding that in the end both PPP and PML-N ditched the JUI-F sit-in in Islamabad.

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