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Friday January 27, 2023

No relief for consumers rushing to Iesco offices for slash in FCA

August 25, 2022

Rawalpindi: Neither banks nor Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) was ready to provide any kind of relief to the public on inflated electricity bills till the issuance of a proper notification regarding exemption from paying the high fuel charges adjustment (FCA) in their bills here on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday night announced that 17 million of the total power consumers will be exempted from paying the high fuel charges adjustment (FCA) in their electricity bills. Secondly, Lahore High Court (LHC) also ordered to stop charging high fuel charges adjustment on electricity bills but helpless consumers continue running from pillar to post to have their FCA slashed but in vain.

After this announcement, thousands of consumers ran to Iesco offices and banks and insisted on a cut in fuel adjustment charges (FAC) but neither banks nor Iesco officials were ready to resolve this issue till the issuance of proper notification by the Prime Minister's Office. Helpless consumers hanged between PM order and excuse of Iesco.

In the light of the poor law and order situation, Iesco has requested federal and provincial governments to provide them with extra police force to avert any untoward incident. The concerned authorities have provided extra police force in front of Iesco offices to avoid any law and order situation on Wednesday.

Iesco Deputy Commercial Manager (DCP) Muhammad Rashid told ‘The News’ that picture was not clear still. Prime Minister has announced to cut down highly fuel adjustment charges from electricity bills of only 17 million consumers. We did not receive any kind of notification that which consumers would be exempted, he claimed.

He also said that we could not do anything without proper notification. “We will extend the due date of paying electricity bills. The position is not clear whether less than 200 units of consumers would be exempted or all consumers, he said.

Meanwhile, protest demonstrations continued in Rawalpindi and protesters choked city roads for hours over inflated power bills even on Wednesday. The angry protesters burnt tyres and blocked roads for all kinds of traffic from both sides. Thousands of vehicles remained stranded since morning. A heavy contingent of police reached the spot to disperse the protesters but in vain.

It is worth mentioning here that over 70 per cent staff of Iesco ran away from their offices fearing mob violence. The protesters pelted stones on Iesco offices and demanded the issuance of proper notification of exemption. Police tried to stop protesters buy in vain.

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