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National

January 8, 2015

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Defaulters inflict Rs100 bn loss on power sector

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s electric power system sustains mammoth loss of Rs100 billion every year on account of failure to recover electricity bills. Though the loss has been brought down from Rs128 billion to Rs100 billion in last 7-8 months but the deficit is still on the higher side and under this scenario the sector cannot thrive on long-term basis.
“We have sold out electricity of Rs900 billion to consumers in one year and recovered Rs800 billion with huge deficit of 12 percent (Rs100 billion),” a senior official of Ministry of Water and Power told The News.
He said: “We have improved the recovery rate by 2 per cent and lifted it to 88 percent from 86 percent, but the loss is still high.” However, the official data about the circular debt and receivables of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) tells an entirely different story and negates the claim of the government that recovery of electricity bills has improved. The data shows that the circular debt has again swelled to Rs280 billion whereas the receivables have risen to Rs576 billion.
The data says that Sindh has to pay Rs63 billion to Pepco, Punjab Rs4 billion, Balochistan Rs7 billion, KPK Rs1.6 billion, AJK Rs43 billion, and K. Electric Rs32 billion.
According to the data, private sector has surprisingly emerged as biggest defaulter as it owes to pay Rs388 billion. Out of Rs388 billion, the running defaulters which are mainly influential business tycoons running their factories are required to pay about Rs100 billion, but the government has not only failed to recover the said amount from them, but criminally continues to provide them electricity. In the list of running defaulters, the top mandarins without sharing the list told The News that many business establishments of some towering political figures are also included. This shows the incumbent regime is highly compromised in punishing the running defaulters.
However, the common consumer does not expect such treatment

from top management of any electric distribution company as whenever he for any reason fails to pay the electricity bills, he faces disconnection of electricity supply, but the said unscrupulous elements known as running defaulters are still enjoying the electricity supply without the clearance of their bill amounting to Rs100 billion.

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