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November 27, 2018

Wasa directed to generate revenue through its own resources


November 27, 2018

Rawalpindi: The Water and Sanitation Agency which demanded bailout package due to financial crunch would now not be getting the loan as the Punjab government has reportedly rejected the case of allocating funds to the water agency. Instead, the provincial government has directed Wasa to generate revenue through its own resources by taking rapid, practical and effective measures to overcome financial crunch if existing in the water agency.

In this context, the newly appointed Chairman of RDA/Wasa, Arif Abbasi has also clearly stated that instead of demanding funds or loans, steps would be taken to bring our own department into order by ending incompetency and inefficiency which he said has resulted in financial crisis inside the department. He told to a question that the Punjab government has refused to grant loan /bailout package to Wasa.

When asked about the non payment of funds through subsidy, Arif Abbasi expressed his unawareness. However, he told that instead of relying on grants, subsidy from the government, we would redress financial position of the water department by generating income through good policies and better as well as effective steps which include recoveries from the defaulters of water connection and water tariff.

Giving salient features of the steps to be taken , the chairman stated that the owners/sponsors of housing societies which he said are around 250 or more would be approached and directed to pay charges of water connections and water tariff to Wasa besides clearing longstanding dues falling on them. Since the creation of Wasa, the managements have not been touching the housing societies giving them free hand to use water and not pay its water tariff. While the owners of these societies had been getting charges of water tariff from their clients and residents who have constructed their plots and buildings. The non collection of water tariff as well as connection charges from owners /sponsors of housing societies in the past has caused huge loss to the revenue of Wasa and now over the last two years the water agency is facing annual deficit of Rs1.5 billion. Instead of collecting water tariff and connection charges, the Wasa managements had been demanding funds and loans from the Punjab government besides proposing to make increase rates of water charges to overcome financial crisis in the department.

Now I in the capacity of chairman would take effective and good steps to generate revenue from own resources. Besides touching housing societies, Wasa would also go to the agents, owners of water filling stations to pay water charges and dues. Similarly, campaign would be launched to recover dues from the consumers both commercial and domestic who are defaulters. All these measures would not take long time to enforce. Rather we would get good and positive results of improvement in financial position of Wasa in next two to three months, the chairman vowed.

Moreover, he to a question also cleared that there is no plan or proposal to raise the charges of water tariff which has not been increased over the last ten years or more. Similarly, Arif Abbasi cleared that from now no political interference or its influence would be accepted and tolerated. Policies of generating income on our own resources would be reformed and make effective in the coming days, the chairman remarked.

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