Federal Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastagir Khan on Wednesday said the power consumers across the country had received increased electricity bills due to the fuel surcharge of June which was added in the bills of July.
Addressing a news conference at the head office of K-Electric, the minister said although the consumers had utilized lesser electricity during July as compared to June, however, they received higher bills which included the surcharge of June.
Khurram Dastagir said despite crisis and challenges being faced by the government, it had been decided to provide relief to the masses in this regard. He announced that the fuel surcharge, added in the bills of July, had been abolished for the consumers of below 200 units. Those who had paid their bills would be given relief in their power bills in next month while those who haven’t paid would get their revised bills. Besides, the fuel surcharge for the agricultural consumers had also been abolished.
The minister announced that the fixed tax imposed on commercial meters would also be abolished from October.
He criticized Imran Khan led previous government for the increased power crisis in the country. During the tenure of Imran Khan, the projects of alternative energy were miserably neglected. No single megawatt production was done from any source of alternative energy during the tenure of previous government, he expressed.
He said the incumbent government had focused on the alternative energy and soon power production would start from Thar coal. The government is working to ensure provision of uninterrupted and affordable power supply to the consumers across the country, he added.
Khurram Dastagir said that efforts were also underway to modernize the power distribution companies under the vision of Prime Minister.
He said that the companies had been asked to ensure rapid installation of meters, resolution of complaints of consumers and prevention of power thefts on modern lines.
The minister said Imran Khan continuously lied to the nation that there wasn’t any shortfall of electricity. Infact, he clarified, the power production was much lesser than its demand.
He said that the country’s power supply was dependent on outdated plants running on expensive furnace oil.
To a question, the minister replied that restructuring of NEPRA was underway. The regulatory body during the tenure of previous government was not working on its primary function that is revision of rates, he said.
To another question, he answered that unfortunately privatization of K-Electric didn’t deliver the required results; however, efforts were initiated to improve its working for the desired results.
Responding to a query, Khurram Dastagir said the reconciliation of financial affairs of K-Electric was also underway and positive results were expected from this reconciliation.
To a question about provision of relief in terms of electricity bills to the flood victims of Sindh and Balochistan, he replied that initially the government was focusing on their (flood victims) rescue, later the steps, for relief and rehabilitation, would be taken.