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March 28, 2020

KE welcomes ECC’s decision to release subsidy of Rs26 billion

Karachi

March 28, 2020

The K-Electric (KE), in a press statement, welcomes the Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decision to facilitate the power utility through advance provision of Rs26 billion as subsidy.

“The provision of this amount will offset a portion of the KE’s ballooning receivables which are due to it from the federal and provincial governments, and which have now crossed Rs240 billion,” the statement said.

KE CEO Moonis Alvi appreciating the ECC’s decision said their “foremost priority during the COVID-19 crisis is to ensure that Karachi remains powered up and that the most economically vulnerable customers are provided relief through uninterrupted power supply and deferred due dates, including the deferral of the Industrial Support Package (ISPA) adjustment for industries. Both of these have obviously affected KE’s cash flows which were already strained due to the growing receivables due from various public sector entities.”

He added: “The ECC decision will alleviate KE’s financial position to some extent and will enable us to continue serving our customers.” The power utility has extended the due date for bills below Rs4,000 to until April 10 and for all other customers, including industrial and commercial, the due date has been extended till April 7.

“To further facilitate customers who are mandated to stay at home during the crisis, the KE has also strengthened its online customer service platforms and ensured the availability of alternate payment portals, including mobile banking, Easy Paisa, Jazz Cash or ATMs. The critical centres, such as power stations and load dispatch centres, continue to stay operational with essential staff to provide uninterrupted power to the citizens of Karachi,” the statement said.

“The annual preventive maintenance (APM) activities have also been suspended until further notice. The power utility is committed to standing by Karachi and ensuring uninterrupted power supply to its over 2.8 million customers. The power utility has also decided to suspend physical metre reading in the interest of the safety of its employees, and that of its customers. In light of this, the KE bills to its residential and commercial customers will be calculated based on their average number of units consumed, in line with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) guidelines for circumstances where physical metre reading is not possible.”

Since the bill-delivery activities may also be impacted by the current situation, the KE said its customers could visit the KE website www.ke.com.pk to see their payable bill amount or download duplicate bills.

“Customers can also receive their bill via SMS by typing ‘BILL’ space ‘13-digit account number’ and sending the SMS to 8119. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions customers are advised to avoid physically visiting banks for bill payments.

To facilitate customers, the KE has ensured the availability of alternate payment portals, including mobile banking, Easy Paisa, Jazz Cash or ATMs. While a number of banks have agreed to provide a deposit slip option in the absence of a physical bill, customers must mention their 13-digit account number on the deposit slip as well as payable amount. This service can be availed at Askari Bank Limited, Bank Al Habib Limited, Bank Alfalah Limited, Faysal Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Habib Metro Bank Limited, Meezan Bank Limited and MCB Bank Limited. A complete list of e-payment solutions is also available at the KE website.”