Monday May 29, 2023

Jamaat’s referendum on inclusion of municipality tax in power bills starts

By Our Correspondent
September 24, 2022

The Karachi chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) commenced on Friday a citywide referendum regarding the inclusion of municipality and other charges in the electricity bills, and asked the people of Karachi to vote on whether the electricity bills with ‘unjust’ charges should be paid or not.

JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman cast his vote in the referendum at the main voting booth set up at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, the JI Karachi headquarters, following a press conference.

Representatives of major trader organisations were also present at the press conference, during which Rehman termed the K-Electric (KE) a mafia in the city and also accused the Sindh government and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) of working in collusion with the power utility against the people of Karachi.

He appealed to the judiciary not to delay the hearing of cases against the KE and not favour it on technical grounds. The KE under an agreement with the state was supposed to invest in the system, end load-shedding, reduce line losses and provide cheap electricity to the people of Karachi, he remarked adding that the power company had been violating the agreement since its inception, but all the ruling regimes in the country had ironically favoured it out of the way.

Rehman reiterated his demand for the cancellation of the KE’s licence over its violations of the agreement with the state. He also called for forensic audit of the company accounts. He alleged that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had earlier waived off Rs50 billion, equal to the value of Rs200 billion in today's economic scenario, from the charges payable by the KE. He added that the following regime of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also followed suit.

The JI leader said that people had hopes when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power but ironically then prime minister Imran Khan himself restrained the Federal Investi

gation Agency from acting against the KE despite availability of all kinds of proof against the company. He claimed that the government continued to provide electricity to the KE on subsidised rates without any formal agreement.