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Public sector’s power dues Rs206bn, Senate told

Public sector’s power dues Rs206bn, Senate told

ISLAMABAD: The government has reported that outstanding electricity bills payable by public sector amount to Rs206 billion as of March 1.

In an update submitted to the Senate, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif has reported that total power sector recoveries made by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were dismally unimpressive.

The NAB was referred 222,495 cases of power sector defaulters involving Rs59.719bn. Total recoveries by the bureau from 125 defaulters came to Rs14.11 million as of March 31. An amount of Rs59.705bn is still to be recovered from 222,370 defaulters.

All the cases pertain to outstanding bills of more than Rs100,000 having the age of more than one year.

The minister said that majority of recoveries made by the NAB were from domestic and commercial consumers. An amount of Rs6.84m was recovered from 99 domestic consumers and Rs1.13m from nine commercial consumers. Total recoveries from 16 industrial consumers stood at Rs5.94m.

In addition, he said, 10,167 connections were severed for non-payment of Rs3.376bn dues and the cases were referred to the NAB for recovery. Of them, the bureau recovered Rs14.434m from 94 consumers. In this category, largest recoveries of Rs7m were made from 26 industrial consumers and Rs5m was recovered from 55 domestic consumers.

Khawaja Asif said that total outstanding amount against federal government departments and agencies at the end of February stood at Rs8.785bn.

Outstanding amounts against provincial governments and departments amount to Rs100.64bn, followed by Rs61.23bn owed by Azad Kashmir and Rs35.11bn to be paid the Karachi Electric.

Of the Rs100.64bn provincial arrears, Sindh stood out with Rs70.747bn at the end of February this year, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Rs20.49bn, he said. The Punjab and Balochistan governments and their agencies owed Rs4.7bn and Rs4.69bn, respectively.

The minister said that the recovery process was generally undertaken by the distribution companies (Discos) on the basis of their billings.

But, he added, under a decision the cabinet committee on energy made in 2014, cases of a specific amount outstanding for more than one year had been referred to the NAB.

For the remaining cases, the Discos are carrying out the process with the support of law enforcement agencies.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2016

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