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ISLAMABAD: The Board of Directors (BoD) of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) has charged top management of the company with extremely poor performance during FY 2021-22 and sending inflated bills to consumers.

Amir Zafar, Chairman PESCO Board, in a letter to Board members stated that the annual performance report FY 21-22 of the company was presented, which gives a very dismal reading, saying that the management has failed to come up to expectations.

“Serious lapses in ownership, responsibility and lack of coordination amongst staff has been witnessed leading to missing assigned targets,” he added.

Record line losses: Pesco faces highest revenue-based power load-shedding in June

Some of the glaring observations vis-à-vis Circular Debt Management Plan (CDMP) targets are as follows: (i) T&D loss was recorded at 4.38% more than the target assigned; (ii) PESC0 lagged 2nd last amongst all DISCO’s in this important KPI; (iii) recovery targets were 5.14% less than the target which contributed to mounting receivables (running defaulters) to Rs.75.9 billion and receivables (running & disconnected defaulters) to Rs.137 billion; (iv) PESCO’s AT&C target was 7.26 per cent more than the assigned target; (v) PESCO continued to generate “detection bills”, against the BoD’s direction which has led to an additional amount of Rs.660 million being paid as GST; (vi) PESCO failed to provide new connections to all pending cases especially prospective industrial consumers;(vii) PESCO has performed poorly in safety, as the number of employee fatalities grew from 7 in 2020-21) to 10 (2021 -22).

The board fails to understand all logic presented especially when a “safety consultant” has been provided on the insistence and recommendations of the management. The company stands last amongst all Disco’s in this KPI; (viii) an amount of Rs. 1.145 billion has been adjusted as “credit adjustments”. With a MMR accuracy of 80 per cent general& 70%o industrial, these figures cannot be correlated with MMR readings; (ix) it is shocking to note that 385 AMR meters/ LDIP installed at grids are unserviceable or muted;(x) Chamkani Sub-Division had been declared a Model Sub-Division under USAID SEP Project and Rs. 1.5 billion was utilized for the purpose. The purpose of this project was to reduce losses and improve recoveries; however, losses increased from 34 per cent to 61 per cent. APMS were installed to prevent transformer burnout.334 APMS were installed but instead of preventing transformer burnout, 123 transformers were replaced against damage. Lack of ownership of the system is proving detrimental to the company and raises doubts on future technology related investments in the company;(xi) the company had spent Rs. 11.95 billion in FY2l-22 on different projects, and despite the Capex consumed, all KPI’s have deteriorated instead of improving. Moreover, PESCO losses have increased besides other contributory factors including improper planning, lack of leadership in all tiers of management, poor management practices and absence of accountability seem to be the main factors leading to poor performance. Despite the deteriorated performance, no senior management has been reprimanded through Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs).

Keeping in view the performance of company, the Board has issued following instructions which were agreed upon by management: (a) parking of units to stop immediately detection bills to be accurately assessed and follow up to recover amount must be ensured. A detailed policy must be formulated and issued for implementation, within 10 days; (b) credit adjustments in units and amount must stop immediately. Exceptions only allowed by approval of Chief Commercial Officer. Policy to be designed and circulated for implementation within 1O days; and (iii) policies and directives on all CDMP targets be developed and shared throughout the company.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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