LAHORE -  The government was applauded for clearing Rs480 billion circular debt when it came into power in 2013, but it is leaving behind almost the same amount for the next government.

According to details, Kot Addu Power Company Limited is yet to receive Rs68,177 million, Hub Power Company Limited is to get Rs64,194 million, Central Power Generation Co Ltd is to receive Rs62,796 million. Northern Power Generation Co Ltd is to get Rs56,747 million, Wapda Hydroelectric is to receive Rs23,853 million, and Jamshoro Power Company Limited is to get Rs18,288 million.

According to the information received here, these are just few big receivables while many other companies are also awaiting their dues to be cleared. The total amount is Rs439,141 million.

It is pertinent to mention here that the current government cleared Rs480 billion circular debt of the energy sector when the circular debt stood at Rs503 billion on May 31, 2013.

The power companies had to opt for calling of sovereign guarantee to get this heavy circular debt cleared in past. Some of the IPPs were in Supreme Court after defaulting the government in honoring of its guarantee (Sovereign Guarantee).

The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had agreed to withdraw cases and resolve the dispute through arbitration envisaged under the power-purchase agreements as part of a deal with PML-N government for payment of outstanding dues of Rs480 million at that time. Situation is getting there again and the government has to honour its Sovereign Guarantee otherwise all invest in power sector will become shaky.

The pending payments to IPPs have reached Rs439 billion as on February 15, 2017. This situation will create issues for the power sector of the country since winters are ending and the people of the country are to bear the brunt of this inefficiency of the government that has failed to retire the outstanding dues to 57 power companies, said an official of an IPP.