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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on Wednesday, recommended the Energy Ministry to reshuffle those lower cadre officials of DISCOs who were deputed on one station since long and were causing increase in the practice of bribery.

The committee examined the Audit Report for the year2019-20 on the GEPCO and the PESCO.

The committee met here at the Parliament on Wednesday under the chairman, Rana Tanveer Hussain.

Members committee expressed their serious reservations over inflated electricity bills and JUI-F parliamentarian Shahida Akhtar Ali showed her bill as a proof.

She alleged that she was dispatched an electricity bill of Rs8,000 against utilization of 174 units.

She urged that the burden of power theft and fault in feeders were passed on to the end consumers, which was unjustified.

Another Member Noor Alam Khan alleged that lower cadre in DISCOs sitting on one station for last 20 years were taking bribe to provide out of turn electricity connections.

Shaikh Ruhale Asghar said that the power theft could not be done without connivance of meter readers and the SDO should be made accountable for these thefts.

The committee directed unanimously to take adequate measures to curtail the power theft incidents and discourage lower staff of the DISCOS from taking bribes by introducing a rotation mechanism.

The committee took an audit para related to loss of Rs39.6 billion due to abnormal line losses on feeders. In the PESCO, the percentage of line losses on 302 feeders was abnormally higher than the targets of losses set by the NEPRA as 31.95 percent.

Hence 2,729.22 million units were lost, which caused revenue loss of Rs39.6 million.

Non adherence to the rules resulted in loss of revenue due to operational mismanagement during the financial year 2018-19.

The Ministry of Energy in 2019 replied that high losses on feeders were due to lengthy feeders, poor substations, difference in reading cycle, shifting, bifurcation of load and wrong feeder coding.

In December 2019, the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) of the Energy Ministry did not accept the stance of the management and directed the management to carry out analysis of all the feeders including the feeders under observation for last two years to find out the reasons for line losses beyond the NEPRA target.

The officials of the Energy Ministry informed the DAC that the NEPRA had determined line losses target for the PESCO at 31.95 percent, whereas, the actual losses for the year under consideration is 37.2 percent, which is 5.25 percent higher than the target.

Resultantly, a loss of Rs16.3 billion is beyond the NEPRA target instead of loss calculated by audit amounting to Rs39.6 billion.

In the same meeting it was revealed that the abnormal loss incurred due to these 302 sick feeders, list provided by the audit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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