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LAHORE: Incompetent and indecisive Boards of Directors (BoDs) are behind shortage of some 35000 kilometer cables, 1.1 million electricity meters, and over 1000 transformers in power distribution companies (Discos), said reliable sources.

Therefore, they said, there is no significant procurement of material in Discos where 7,00,000 applications for new connections and 4,00,000 applications for meters replacement are pending at present. Besides, applications for the extension of load to the tune of 300 megawatt are separately submitted by the export-oriented sectors to avail friendly policies of the government.

The BoDs are unable to provide direction to Discos while the government is paying raw capacity charges to the power producers without utilizing it, they added.

The sources said the former advisor to prime minister on energy Tabish Gohar, commonly dubbed as Gohar-e-Nayab (rare diamond) by his critics in power sector, had managed to get appointed some 42 former officials of K-Electric on the BoDs of Discos, majority of whom have never worked at the top level of the company. Since they were middle level professionals, therefore, they lack management skills to run the affairs of Discos, they added.

The issue was also raised in a recently-held meeting of the senate standing committee on power. According to the minutes of meeting, copy available with Business Recorder, chairman of the committee had observed that there were about 42 officials of BoDs from one Disco (K-Electric) who were chairmen/members of Board of Directors of various companies and as per the statement of additional secretary of power division, none of them was capable to be appointed for these positions.

The sources said it has become difficult for BoDs to run day to day affairs of Discos, as majority of them are predominantly middle level professionals. There are also some BoDs members from a Karachi-based fertilizer company but they also lack the experience of running Discos and all their expertise are restricted operating power plants.

The sources added that this abnormal situation has also led to cartelization of power sector manufacturers, which is blackmailing Discos in supply of material, as undue delay in decision making has already resulted into scrapping of a number of tenders after variation in rupee-dollar value. They have joined hands to benefit from the situation despite the fact that both the Competition Commission of Pakistan and World Bank have issued edicts to discourage the practice, said the sources.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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