More transparency for power consumers

Government deserves credit for its contribution to power generation in the country and as a result there is almost zero load-shedding in most parts of the country. However, as elections approach nearer and there is every reason that people would make their decision at the polling stations keeping in view five year performance of the governments at the centre and the provinces, attempts are being made to deprive PML (N) government of its credit by agitating the issue of load-shedding out of proportion.
In this backdrop, landmark initiative of the government to introduce transparency and provide access to power consumers to vital data and information is a step in the right direction and might be helpful to counter the propaganda by vested interests. Thanks to the application, called ‘Roshan Pakistan’, launched by Minister for Power Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari on Tuesday, information regarding supply of electricity as well as billing details would now be at the distance of a click. Apart from facilitating the power consumers and keeping them abreast of actual position with regard to power supply from a particular feeder and details about electricity bill, the mobile application might also discourage officials of the distribution companies from indulging in deceptive tactics to undermine credibility of the government. But for all this to happen, there is dire need to provide a mechanism to the consumer to lodge a complaint in case they find variation between ground situation and what the distribution company tells through the App. We say so because as per requirement, meter readers are required to print photo shot of the reading in the bill. This is done but here again the readers take the snapshot many days after the reading date indicated on the bill just to inflate the bill and burden the consumer. One wonders whether this is done in collusion with the authorities concerned to jack up revenue otherwise there is no incentive for the reader to enter reading that has yet to be reached. We hope that this issue would also be taken care of when the legislation to penalise wrong doers is adopted by the Senate. Similarly, we would also urge the Minister to do something to eliminate rampant corruption as it is beyond imagination to get a meter installed without palm-greasing.

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