A meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament was held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) members of the committee criticized the establishment of a coal power plant in Sahiwal during the meeting at Parliament House.

Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf questioned the rationale of setting up a coal power plant in an agriculture area like Sahiwal. Federal Secretary Energy, who was present during the PAC meeting, informed the committee that an extremely sophisticated environment-friendly technology has been used for the plant. The secretary energy claimed that the plant wouldn’t harm the ecology of the area.

In the previous meeting of the PAC on December 28, secretary of the committee, Iftikhar Rahim Khan briefed the members on the functioning of the committee, having representation of members from both the National Assembly and the Senate.

On a question the secretary said that the committee had referred 168 cases to NAB. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member Sheikh Rohail Asghar inquired the status of those cases. The secretary replied that of the 168 cases, the bureau was conducting inquiries in 17 and investigations in 11 cases.

Senator Sherry Rehman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that many audit paras were pending before the committee due to pending inquiries of NAB and suggested that there should be a time frame for disposal of these inquiries.