Energy Ministry tasks distribution companies to recover past arrears of Rs82.2 billion

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Energy has fixed 100 percent recovery target for current electricity bills and tasked power distribution companies to recover Rs82.2 billion of past arrears from defaulters by the fiscal year end. “This would improve liquidity of the power sector”, the Power Division said in a statement.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by the Minister for Energy (Power Division) Omer Ayub Khan. The power minister also asked the power distribution firms to reduce line losses.

Secretary Power Division Irfan Ali, officials of Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), chief executive officers (CEOs) of discos and other officials of the Power Division attended the meeting.

The meeting decided to freeze the figures of old receivables as on October 31, 2018 with targets to achieve 100percent recovery of the current billings as per the goals set by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra).

Energy minister further directed the heads of discos to eliminate power theft and illegal hooking of electricity and take strict action against those who are involved in it with the help of the provincial task forces established in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Secretary Ali said defaulters should be refrained from using electricity through hooking wires and operation must be intensified without any fear or favour.

The meeting assigned the Lahore Electric Supply Company a task to ensure extra recoveries of Rs25 billion from outstanding bills in addition to current billing up to June and reduce line losses by up to one percent.

Faisalabad Electric Supply Company is tasked to undertake extra two billion rupees of recoveries in addition to current billing and slash line losses by one percent.

Gujranwala Electric Supply Company will ensure extra recovery of three billion rupees, and is tasked to cut line losses by up to one percent.

Islamabad Electric Supply Company will also ensure extra two billion rupees of recovery of old receivables and bringing down line losses by 8.65 percent. Multan Electric Power Company is to ensure additional recovery of Rs10.2 billion from outstanding bills and reduce line losses to the Nepra target of 15 percent.

Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) was given a recovery target of Rs41billion by reducing the line losses to four percent.

Chief executive officer of Pesco said the disco will launch awareness campaign to educate the consumers that their wrong bills will be corrected and meters be installed instantly after payment of dues, which will also lead to reduction of load management hours in their areas.

“Pesco will also ensure removal of hooks (kunda) within a timeframe of two months and concerned officials shall be held responsible for this,” the chief executive added.

The energy minister said no overbilling or unfair mean will be adopted for achieving the targets. He asked the joint secretary power division and Pepco to form a comprehensive monitoring mechanism.

“All the CEOs shall personally supervise the drive against theft and shall meet the district administration in this regard,” he said.

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