NA standing body approves amendments to Irsa Act 1992 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NA standing body approves amendments to Irsa Act 1992

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Water and Power approved an amendment to the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) bill on Friday which would require the authority to prepare an annual report at the end of each financial year and make it available online.

The Indus River System Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017, proposed by MNA Surriya Asghar, was discussed at length in the committee chaired by Muhammad Arshad Khan Leghari.

The committee agreed with the proposed amendment which requires Irsa to prepare an annual report at the end of the financial year. It adds: “The Federal Government shall cause the annual report to be laid before the Parliament within 30 days, from the date of its receipt.”

The amendment says that the federal government will also submit a memorandum indicating action taken or proposed to be taken on recommendations of Irsa and reasons for non-implementation of recommendations, if any.

Another amendment requires Irsa to make the report available online on its website immediately after presenting it to parliament.

Discussing various reasons for the amendments, Ms Asghar stated that Irsa was an important authority overseeing the regulation and distribution of surface waters among the provinces, but it did not share details of its performance with parliament.

She said it was necessary to incorporate a compulsory provision in the Act which would require the Authority to present an annual performance report detailing its duties and functions.

Separately, the committee was briefed about the Dargai Hydropower Projects I&II, in Malakand Agency.

Members of the committee were informed that there were three hydropower stations in Malakand district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the Upper Swat Canal, which produced 121MW.

During the discussion about the shortfall of electricity supply, an official of the Ministry of Water and Power said there was a supply shortfall of 5,000-6,000MW, which the ministry expected to stay steady even during the peak summer season.

He said the government had initiated work on various hydro, thermal and wind power projects which would start generating electricity in two or three months’ time.

The committee stressed the need to lessen the shortfall in order to provide people relief especially during Ramazan.

The committee members who attended Friday’s meeting included retired Lt Col Ghulam Rasul Sahi, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur, Junaid Akbar, Salim Rehman, Syed Waseem Hussain, Syed Kazim Shah and Surriya Asghar.

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