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Sunday June 16, 2024

KE overbilled Sindh govt more than Rs20bn in last 10 years: minister

Shah revealed that an audit conducted for this year uncovered over the Rs2 billion in overbilling by K-Electric.

By Tanveer Malik
May 30, 2024
Sindh Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah gestures during a meeting on March 19, 2024. — Facebook/Syed Nasir Hussain Shah
Sindh Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah gestures during a meeting on March 19, 2024. — Facebook/Syed Nasir Hussain Shah

KARACHI: K-Electric (KE), the sole power utility in the coastal city of Karachi, has overcharged the Sindh government by more than Rs20 billion for electricity supply to its departments over the past decade, Sindh Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah disclosed on Wednesday.

“… the provincial government will soon pay Rs9 billion in outstanding dues to K-Electric,” Sindh Energy Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah told energy reporters in his office.

Shah revealed that an audit conducted for this year uncovered over the Rs2 billion in overbilling by K-Electric. He noted that Rs2-3 billion were saved after reconciling power bills between the Sindh government and power utility over the past four to five years.

The provincial minister accused K-Electric of recovering its line losses by adding them to the provincial government’s power bills, emphasising that account reconciliation provided a clearer picture of the outstanding amount owed.

He also highlighted that while real-time data is being received through smart meters installed by HESCO and SEPCO, K-Electric has yet to install such meters to provide real-time data on power supply and consumption. “If the government departments have been subjected to this overbilling, one can imagine the impact on common consumers,” Shah remarked.Regarding overbilling and heavy charges to consumers, Shah stated that committees had been established to protect consumers, focusing on mitigating the impact of past overbilling.

Last week, the Sindh government announced that K-Electric had agreed to restore electricity supply to consumers using up to 200 units by waiving their old dues and charging them based on new bills.

The power utility in a statement, confirmed that a joint committee with representatives from both the Sindh government and K-Electric had been formed to address load-shedding and other issues in Karachi.

The committee will work jointly to address public grievances, ensure timely bill payments, and develop strategies to reduce load-shedding and ensure an uninterrupted power supply in the city.

K-Electric reiterated its commitment to cooperating with Karachi residents during the heatwave but emphasised that uninterrupted power supply depends on timely bill payments, according to a statement.

The utility also mentioned that the Sindh energy minister had assured them that the government would facilitate the payment of over Rs9 billion owed by the Sindh government.