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Sindh CM says federal body’s decisions on electricity unconstitutional


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Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has questioned the federal government’s authority to take decisions like reducing the life of solar and wind power projects from 20 to 15 years without consulting the provinces.

During a meeting with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Energy Shahzad Qasim in Karachi, the chief minister said the decisions related to energy taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) were illegal and unconstitutional and demanded that these decisions by CCoE be withdrawn. Shah said the Council of Common Interest (CCI) was the only constitutional forum to decide policy issues regarding electricity.

The special assistant to PM congratulated Shah for progress on the Thar coal mining and power project which is near completion.

“Any policy decision by the CCoE on electricity is a clear transgression and infringement into the domain of the CCI,” the chief minister said. Shah said the CCoE had unilaterally directed a reduction in the lifespan of solar and wind projects from 20 to 15 years.

He said the cabinet committee had also imposed a selective embargo on a processing of ongoing small hydro, wind and solar projects. The Sindh chief minister urged the special assistant to continue all renewable energy (RE) projects under the Renewable Energy Policy 2006, which he said provided lucrative fiscal and monetary incentives to investors.

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“I would suggest that the CCoE and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) should not take any decision regarding electricity in future because the CCI is the right forum,” CM Shah said. Qasim, the special assistant to PM, said if 1,000 MW RE power projects were installed the government would be able to save Rs14 billion in foreign exchange every year.

Shah said Sindh had a 60km-long and 80km-wide wind corridor coastal belt and had the capacity to produce 55,000 MW wind energy in Thatta, 10GW solar energy, 130 MW Hydro, 500 MW water energy and 550 MW geothermal energy.

“The federal government is requested to approve the stuck up renewable energy projects so that work could be started,” the CM said. The special assistant to PM congratulated Shah for progress on the Thar coal mining and power project which is near completion.