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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged NEPRA authorities to reduce power tariff, announce a comprehensive package for poor consumers, stop issuance of detection bills and bound the power distribution companies (DISCOs) not to disconnect power connections of entire area for non-payment of few consumers.

This he said while talking to NEPRA led by its chairman Tauseef Hussain. The other delegation members were Member Sindh Rafique Shaikh, Member Baluchistan Rahmatullah Baluch and Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bahadur Shah. The Chief Minister was assisted by Minister Energy, Imtiaz Shaikh and PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro.

The Chief Minister said that the NEPRA has further enhanced the tariff by Rs1.53 against fuel adjustment. “The power tariff is already unaffordable for poor consumers and its further increase would not only put additional burden on the consumers but force them to resort to power stealing,” he said. He added that the power theft issue could be controlled by rationalizing power tariff.

The chairman agreed with the Chief Minister that the tariff should be affordable and said the fresh increase of Rs1.53 in the tariff was only for one month.

Another issue the Chief Minister raised was issuance of detection bills by the HESCO and SEPCO. “We have seen people begging to pay detection bills,” he said and added this injustice was only in Sindh. The Chairman NEPRA assured the Chief Minister that he would personally resolve the issue. He nominated Member NEPRA Sindh Rafique Shaikh to present him a detailed report on the issue.

Murad Ali Shah also took up the issue of ever-increasing load-shedding in the province. “The increasing load-shedding some time causes law and order situation, therefore necessary measures must be taken to control the load-shedding,” he said and adding the summer was approaching, therefore load-shedding controlling measures should be taken much in time.

Murad Shah said that the KE and other DISCOs, HESCO and SEPCO disconnect power supply of the low-billing areas. “This policy turns out to be a punishment for the consumers who pay their bills in time and this must be stopped,” he said. The chairman assured the Chief Minister that he has already directed the DISCOs to stop the policy.

The Chief Minister, minister energy and Chairman NEPRA also discussed tariff issues of renewable power projects being installed in Sindh and also discussed the tariff for waste to energy projects.

The Chief Minister presented shield, Ajrak and Sindhi caps to the visiting delegation and lauded their policy of developing coordination with the provincial governments. The Chairman NEPRA also presented NEPRA shield to the Chief Minister and thanked him for discussing the issues in a guiding way.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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