Wednesday May 31, 2023

JI lambasts KE, Nepra for electricity crisis in Karachi

By Our Correspondent
July 02, 2022

The Jamaat-e-Islami held a sit-in outside the K-Electric head office on Friday against the power company, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority and the government over prolonged power outages and what it called “the silent but naked support of the ruling regime as well as of the regulator for the power company” despite serious misconduct on its part.

A large number of JI workers, affected families and people from all walks of life participated in the sit-in. Speaking on the occasion, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman strongly condemned the KE for its “corrupt practices to fulfil its unlimited greed”. He also lambasted Nepra and alleged that the institution and its chairman were hands in gloves with the KE against the Karachiites.

He also raised serious questions over the monopoly of the private company in the sector and the overwhelming and extraordinary support given by the government to the KE. He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the KE’s “corrupt practices and violations of its contract” with the state.

The JI leader asked the CJP to get some relief for the Karachiites, who, he said, were badly affected due to overbilling, prolonged power outages and other corrupt practices. Talking about the conduct of the KE, he said that the company was bound to increase the power production by 1,300 megawatts in the first three years of its privatisation.

As for as progress is concerned, the KE has increased its production by just 17 per cent in 17 long years while its cliental has increased by 80 per cent due to the increase in the population and the monopoly it is enjoying, he added.

He further said the company minted billions of rupees in the name of fuel adjustment but none of its plants were run on furnace oil. He alleged that the government was providing out of turn favour to the power company by supplying gas to it without any agreement.

The JI leader demanded of the government to conduct a forensic audit of the KE accounts, particularly in connection with fuel adjustment and the sale and purchase of fuel between the KE and Byco as both the companies were owned by Abraaj Group.

Lambasting Nepra, Rehman said that apparently the regulatory authority had purposely neglected the power crises in Karachi and its only function in the city was to bless the KE under different heads.

He recalled that the authority had announced it would send a delegation to Karachi after the Eidul Fitar in connection with recovering more than Rs42 billion in clawback from the KE, but the announcement never materialised due reasons only known to Nepra.

He asked the regulatory authority to explain why Bin Qasim Plant No. 3 of the KE had not become functional despite multiple announcements since 2018. Rehman said the political parties mandated from Karachi in the past had kept tightlipped about the KE because they were hand in glove with the power company and they themselves had imposed the mafia on the megalopolis.

He said the then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation was privatised in order to end loadshedding, subsidies and losses, but despite the passage of 17 years, loadshedding had increased, the subsidy for the KE had gone up by some 5,000 per cent, and the revenue of the company had increased by 600 times, whereas the power generation had increased by only 17 per cent.

He said the massive subsidies, prolonged power outages and corrupt practice merited the company to be nationalised, demanding that a judicial inquiry should be launched against it.