The Lower House on Wednesday referred the draft renewable energy law to its Energy Committee giving it urgency status, after dozens of MPs took part in the “first reading” of the bill.
During their meeting, MPs criticised the government approach in dealing with several large-scale investments in renewable energy.
They blamed it for the delay in the implementation of these projects, calling for speeding up the process in order to offset the challenge of energy supply that the country has been facing.
MPs accused the government of “deliberate attempts to delay these projects”, claiming that there are certain powers working against renewable energy ventures. They said there are several cases involving possible corruption.
“I have documents that prove there are corrupt practices in this sector” Deputy Fawaz Zu’bi (Irbid, 4th District) said at the session.
Several MPs requested that Zu’bi forward these documents to Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh who would then refer them to the House’s Integrity Committee to investigate the allegations.
Former Lower House speaker Abdul Karim Dughmi (Mafraq, 1st District) charged that “this sector is under the control of mafias”. He called on Prime Minster Abdullah Ensour to fight them.
“I know that the premier is strong and he can combat these mafias,” Dughmi said.
Several MPs supported his claims, such as Deputy Khalil Atiyeh (Amman, 1st District), who asked why energy projects are delayed.
“There are hidden hands manipulating this sector and delaying the projects,” Atiyeh charged.
There are international firms being paid billions of dollars, but they have not received final approval to generate power until now, he claimed.
Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed dismissed the corruption allegations, stressing that there is “no corruption in the Energy Ministry at all”.
But he said the ministry is undergoing a restructuring process which would resolve most of the delays in procedures and ensure transparency.
Also during the session, MPs referred three bills —the draft laws on juveniles, public-private partnerships and investments — to the relevant committees after the Senate returned them with some changes.
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