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April 26, 2019

Power defaulters’ names to be made public

Top Story

April 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to make the names of power defaulters public and seize their properties after April 30. There is around Rs300 billion outstanding against the power defaulters — mostly factories and agriculture tubewells in the Punjab, Balochistan and other provinces.

A senior official of the Power Division told The News, “The major defaulters are factories in Punjab, especially clients of Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) and Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco).”

The list [of defaulters] has been compiled and those against whom the outstanding amount is Rs1 million or more would be published in newspapers with further details and their properties would also be seized, the official said.

He said agriculturetubewells also constituted a major portion of defaulters which were mostly in Balochistan and central Punjab. “The total outstanding amount is between Rs250 to Rs300 billion and has been pending for several years.”

He said the defaulters were influential, having affiliation with political parties. He said they were also in the other provinces, but their concentration was in the Punjab and Balochistan. The power sector’s circular debt has been increasing due to nonpayment of huge bills for years, he added. However, the official did not disclose prominent names to the reporter.

“We will make their list public and also confiscate their properties under the law if they failed to clear the outstanding dues after April 30.” Meanwhile, a news statement issued by the Power Division said the federal government will take strict action against the power defaulters across the country and asked them to clear their dues by April 30.

The Power Division has pointed out the running defaulters and dead/disconnected defaulters and compiled their lists. The official said the running defaulters were those who were paying current bills but were behind with their outstanding amounts. The ministry has directed that in the first phase, names of those against whom the distribution companies (Discos) had outstanding of Rs1 million or more would be published along with the relevant details.

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