Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal

Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal
Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal
Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal
Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal

Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal

Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal

Pakistan tarnished by coal procurement scandal

Key Highlights:

  1. Concerns arise over coal importation for power plants impacting power affordability and driving consumers away from the national grid.
  2. Shift towards long-term coal imports despite policies favoring localization and import substitution.
  3. Scrutiny on irregularities in coal purchases for power projects, highlighting concerns over inflated costs and lack of transparency.

The importation of coal for power plants is raising questions about its impact on power affordability, driving consumers away from the national grid. Despite government and IMF policies favoring localization, power plants are increasingly turning to long-term coal imports, raising concerns about transparency and cost.

A former caretaker power minister initiated an investigation into coal purchases for the Sahiwal Coal Power Project, but the investigation seems stalled despite irregularities. NEPRA’s limited regulatory authority over coal procurement adds to the scrutiny, especially regarding pricing disparities.

Records indicate inflated costs for coal procurement, raising concerns about financial burdens on consumers. While NEPRA’s guidelines led to reduced costs initially, preferential treatment to historical suppliers and lack of competition remain problematic.

The absence of updated procurement guidelines allows historical suppliers to continue without facing competition, contributing to inefficiencies and higher energy prices. Concerns persist about opaque tender procedures and lack of competition, exacerbating circular debt issues.

Similar procurement practices may be occurring in other power projects, solidifying exceptions as norms in the market. These developments underscore the need for transparency and competition to ensure affordable and sustainable energy solutions.

Source: Dawn

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