In a significant move towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of energy-related initiatives in Pakistan, the government formally dissolved the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and merged it with the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB). This merger, which was initiated in the first quarter of 2017 and officially concluded on June 10, 2023, was a strategic decision aimed at reducing redundancy and enhancing coordination between these two entities.
Roles of AEDB and PPIB
AEDB, established in 2003 and later reinforced by the Alternative Energy Development Board Act, 2010, was tasked with promoting the development and generation of renewable and alternative energy sources. Its primary goal was to achieve sustainable economic growth and facilitate the transfer of technology to build a robust indigenous technical base in the energy sector.
On the other hand, PPIB, founded in 1994 through an executive order and further empowered by a parliamentary act in 2012, served as a “one-window facilitator” for private sector investments in various power generation projects. Its portfolio encompassed projects in hydropower, thermal, coal, and gas-based facilities, among others.
Objective of the AEDB PPIB Merger
One of the key motivations behind the merger was the overlap in administrative responsibilities between AEDB and PPIB. While both organizations had similar objectives, the development of Alternative and Renewable Energy (ARE) projects fell under the purview of both entities. This duplication of tasks and responsibilities led to a less-than-optimal “one-window operation” for investors, creating unnecessary complexities.
The merger aimed to streamline these efforts, eliminating redundancy and promoting a more cohesive approach to energy development. By consolidating AEDB and PPIB, the government sought to establish a unified, efficient, and investor-friendly platform for all energy-related sectors, including ARE projects.
Benefits of the AEDB PPIB Merger
Several advantages are expected to result from the merger:
1. Enhanced Skill Set and Capacity: The merger will enable the development of the necessary skill set and capacity to serve as a one-stop-shop for all energy-related initiatives.
2. Seamless Project Development: With AEDB and PPIB under a single umbrella, the development of power projects, including ARE projects, is expected to proceed more seamlessly and efficiently.
3. Operational Efficiency: By expanding the “one-window operation” and improving the ease of doing business, the merger will enhance operational efficiency, benefitting both investors and the government.
Dissolution and Transition
As part of the merger process, the following key actions were taken:
– The Alternative Energy Fund established under the Alternative Energy Development Board Act, 2010, was transferred to the Private Power and Infrastructure Development Board Fund established under section 14.
– All assets, rights, powers, authorities, and privileges were transferred to PPIB.
– Employees and staff of the dissolved AEDB were transferred to PPIB, ensuring no adverse changes in their allowances.
– Existing civil servants appointed to or working in the dissolved AEDB continued to be governed by the Civil Servants Act, 1973.
– All debts, obligations, contracts, guarantees, and legal proceedings involving AEDB were deemed to be transferred to PPIB.
– References to the dissolved AEDB in statutory instruments, policies, or other documents were to be construed as references to PPIB.
– Existing terms and conditions of PPIB officers, employees, and staff remained unchanged due to the appointment and engagement of transferred personnel.
The merger of AEDB and PPIB represents a significant step forward in Pakistan’s efforts to streamline and strengthen its energy-related initiatives. By eliminating redundancy, promoting efficiency, and enhancing coordination, the government aims to create a more conducive environment for energy development and investment. This merger is expected to play a pivotal role in achieving sustainable energy goals and fostering economic growth in the country.