Reduce power taxes

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The Power Division has reportedly called for rationalization of heavy taxes in the power sector, which have pushed electricity prices higher and added to burden of the consumers.

It says due to high rates of electricity, power theft became rampant, as tariff was not affordable for the consumers.

In addition, bleeding power distribution companies of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also largely contributed to the ballooning circular debt.

This is, indeed, a realistic assessment of state of affairs of the power sector and its negative impact on consumers as well as national economy.

It is rightly complained that power rates in Pakistan are highest in the region, mainly because of a multitude of taxes that have been imposed on bills.

In fact, frequent increase in rates and imposition of various taxes on POL products and electricity are used as easiest method by planners to boost revenues.

The assessment of the ministry shows power theft is rampant in distribution companies of Sindh and KP but consumers across Pakistan are made to pay for this loss inflicted on the system.

Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) in KP recorded 35.10% losses in the financial year 2020-21.

Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) faced 28% and Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) 22.60% losses.

Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) faced 8.80% losses. It is also lamentable that recovery of electricity bills, which reached 94.1% in 2016-17 has dropped to 90.3% during tenure of the present government.

In this backdrop, there is logic in the oft-repeated proposal to hand over distribution companies to provincial governments concerned as they have required paraphernalia to help stop theft and recover dues.

 

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