ISLAMABAD - A Parliamentary Committee Wednesday observed that Punjab is getting its full share of employment in the Distribution Companies (Discos) of other provinces but is not providing quota to other provinces in its Discos.

The sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power also directed the authorities to provide the complete details of the provincial quota regarding hiring of Grade 17 and above positions in the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC).

The committee which met with Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan in the chair reviewed construction works, including grid stations, feeders and recruitment in the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO).

The committee directed the NTDC and the ministry officials that instead of one country or one firm, acquire quality equipment from standard companies for grid stations and power projects.

Chief Executive Officer Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) informed the committee that PESCO was allowed to spend additional Rs500 million funds. But still the company is facing shortage of funds and due to less funds for development projects, the company is facing difficulty in paying its dues. The contractors have also refused to supply materials due to non-payment of their bills, he added.

The PESCO chief informed the committee that 3,000 posts are lying vacant in the company. Due to privatisation, the government has directed to make hiring on important positions only, he explained. The PESCO chief informed the committee that some 720 persons of grade 1 to 16 were recruited since 2015 against vacant posts through screening while 49 junior engineers of grade-17 were also hired.

It was informed that out of total quota of 29 posts reserved for Punjab, 20 have joined the company. Senator Nisar Khan said that Punjab is getting its full share in the Discos of other provinces but it is not providing employment quota to other provinces in its Discos.

The sub-committee was further informed that three 220kV grid stations, including Nowshera, Chakdara and Manshera would be energised by March 2018.

Officials of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) apprised the committee that all the said grid stations were of vital importance and it would help overcome power load-shedding and low voltages issues in Malakand division and Manshera. They said these projects were being completed with Asian Development Bank Loan (Tranche-IV).

Senator Nisar Khan said the country’s transmission and distribution system was outdated resulting more power load-shedding in areas having over 90 per cent recovery.

He also directed for strict action against those getting power supply without installing electricity meters. The panel was further apprised that 58 power transformers were removed in Khyber Circle due to over 90 per cent losses but it was re installed. “Police cannot go to the area and we have requested the army for help but we were not succeeded,” he maintained.

The meeting was attended by senators Ahmed Hassan and Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Dhandla and other senior officials of the ministry, NTDC and PESCO.