Zubair Qureshi Islamabad
Owing to the Russia-Ukraine war, the cost of fuel has jacked up resulting in tariff hike. This was stated by Member Tariff Engr Maqsood Anwar while attending a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power Monday.
He told the committee that the tariff was designed to cover future tariff on fuel and it is linked with fuel and dispatch cost.
The meeting was held in Old PIPS Hall, Parliament Lodges with Senator Saifullah Abro in the Chair.
The meeting commenced with deliberations on point of public importance regarding Month-wise decrease and increase in electricity bills made by NEPRA in the name of fuel adjustment raised by Senator Kamran Murtaza in the House.
Senator Saifullah Abro said that the irony is that, we are paying money to IPPs ( Independent Power Producers) and yet electricity is not available to consumers. He demanded complete report of the factors involved in this unexpected increase in tariff.
Furthermore, Senator Walid Iqbal raised the issue of deceased complainant named Maqsood Ahmed resident of Muridke,Punjab, who has received an electricity bill of 41000 rupees on the consumption of 82 units and allegedly died of cardiac arrest after seeing the exorbitant bill.
The family of the complainant claimed that the latter died due to heart attack a few days later after receiving the bill, he added. However, in LESCO reply the complainant name was mentioned as Bashir Ahmed, he further added.
CEO LESCO (Lahore Electric Supply Company) informed the Committee that the Bashir Ahmed is the father of complainant and the latter was involved in electricity theft and was fined according to NEPRA rules.
Senator Walid Iqbal also inquired about the inflated rise in May bills which is due in June. In reply to this, CEO LESCO told that this increase in bills is related to consumption and in may electricity consumption increase owing to hot weather.
Senator Saifullah Abro was of opinion that fined should be imposed on everyone involved in theft regardless of their social status.
He further directed the CEO of LESCO to conduct inquiry of the matter and present its report before the committee in the next meeting.
However, Chairman Committee Senator Saifullah Abro took up the matter of blast at Guddu thermal plant. He inquired about the reasons of incident and how much delay will occur in making the power plant efficient again. Officials of GENCO ( Central Power Generation Company Ltd.) told that the inquiry committee comprising four members has been formed, which will conclude its report in the next few days.
The maintenance was already going on in the plant which has to be completed in 90 days and the incident will further caused 20 or 30 days delay.
In addition to that, the committee discussed in detail the matter of fuel price adjustment charges in electricity bills raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed in the House. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed told the Committee that the matter was filed in Peshawar High Court in October 2021 and decided by the said court on 14th January 2021, in which court ordered the NEPRA to solve the matter in 30 days. But the irony is that, a year and half has been passed and the matter is still pending before NEPRA. Senator Saifullah Abro directed the Chairman NEPRA to hear the concerns of both sides and solve the matter with urgency.
Secondly, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed also taken up the matter of inavailability of electricity in KPK. He was of opinion that KPK produced 7000 MW electricity and its demand is around 2800 to 3000 MW but despite producing huge junk of electricity, the people of KPK is doomed to live without electricity. According to Constitution of the Pakistan, 13 p.c. of total generation is share of KP and it must be provided to the people of the region, he added. Chairman Committee directed the Chairman NEPRA to provide the due share of electricity to the province.
Senator Saifullah Abro heared the grievances of QESCO (Quetta Electric Supply Company) and PESCO (Peshawar Electric Supply Company) regarding the absence of manpower, which proves to be a real hindrance in their efficiency. Chairman Committee recommended that ministry of power shall directed the QESCO and PESCO and other DESCO’s, who doesn’t have adequate staff, to hire staff required for the efficiency of concerned DESCO’s.
The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad,Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Zeeshan Khanzada,Senator Prince Ahmed Umer Ahmedzai,Senator Sana Jamali,Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan,Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi,Senator Kamran Murtaza,Senator Walid Iqbal,Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and officials of Power Division and it’s allied departments also attended as well.