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LAHORE: Consumers in major cities across Pakistan are complaining and protesting against the power breakdown in summer when temperature is above 40 degrees.

Iesco’s reported line losses as per the Nepra performance evaluation report were a mere 8.7 percent, the lowest in the country. As per the reports, 22 incidents of fires on electricity poles were reported from Lahore in one day within the span of a few hours following a heavy windstorm that knocked out power in the provincial capital. Lesco’s transmission and distribution losses were reported at 12.4 percent, contributing approximately Rs 6 billion in losses to the national exchequer.

People took to the streets in various parts of the country, particularly in Sindh, even as temperatures touched 50 degrees, protesting against SEPCO for power outages of up to 16 hours. The citizens claimed that the uninterrupted power was being provided to officers, political officials, and ice manufacturing factories. HESCO and SEPCO reported staggering transmission and distribution losses of 28.9 percent and 36.3 percent respectively, contributing a cumulative Rs 13.8 billion in losses to the government. Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco). Sources said the state-owned Discos are racking up over Rs 210 billion in transmission and distribution losses as well as losses due to poor recovery.

As per the declared financial results between FY16 and FY20 of the Discos, some of which have not been reported for consecutive years, the Government of Pakistan has injected over Rs 953 billion in subsidies to these companies. In return, they have yielded a collective loss of Rs 609.6 billion. This is a collective loss of Rs 1.563 trillion in a period of five years. The Nepra’s performance evaluation report has also stated that the way forward is privatization.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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