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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday urged LESCO Chief for immediate removal of MDI fixed charges.

“The LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that the present economic situation is concerning for the industry and these MDI charges are causing closure of the industry.”

He was talking to the LESCO CEO at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Vice President Adnan Khalid Butt and Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

On the demand of removing MDI fix charges by the President LCCI, the CEO LESCO answered that MDI fix charges were imposed by NEPRA. Since LECSO is a Beneficiary in the case of MDI as it brought revenue for the Discos, the LESCO itself cannot oppose the initiative.

He said that this has also resulted in setbacks to LESCO as many users have gone off-net and disconnected their connections due to MDI. The reason was that the bill had to be paid even in case of non-use of electricity and the tariff was also increased. He said that as a beneficiary, LESCO cannot oppose MDI. However, we will favour the decision to remove MDI fixed charges as LESCO has suffered a lot due to MDI. We try to keep the consumer with us because even if the industry is closed, it has to restart sometime.

He said that there are many rumors regarding solar net metering, in which it is being said that the rate of net metering is being reduced but the rate is not being reduced at all.

CEO LESCO said that the government is currently focusing on solar. He said that four acres of land is being allocated with 11KV feeders of all the DISCOS in collaboration with the private sector. 100 feeders have been selected in this regard with the investment of Rs17 crores.

He said that the government is installing solar on all the government buildings and subsidizing solar tubewell. Conventional bulb factories are closing down and energy saving bulbs are being installed. A drive to replace all existing fans has been initiated and feasibility is being made on how old fans will be disposed-off and efficient gadgets and conservation policy is being implemented.

About clusters issues in the markets, CEO said that WAPDA wires are mixed with the other cables e.g. internet cables, telephones, CCTV cameras cables and many other wires. When LESCO clears any point from clusters, that same point is re-clustered in a year or two.

On the demand of LCCI President to also include the staff of LESCO during any theft of electricity when FIR is registered against any industrialist, CEO LESCO said that we have already suspended five of our SDOs over access billing and FIRs are being registered against our own staff members on any misconduct.

He said that it has virtually eliminated human intervention to reduce false meter readings. Now the photo of the electricity meter is affixed on the bill and it is no longer possible to forge it. The meters whose display has faded are being replaced. We are rapidly replacing meters as we receive supplies. He said that AMI modern meters are being installed for B1 consumers which will also remove other grievances.

He said that LESCO has the problem of staff shortage. The current government has allowed the staff recruitment for which the advertisement has been issued. Applications for 8000 junior staff posts will be received soon. He said that we have dismissed five SDOs over access billing complaints and filed FIRs against our own staff along with the FIA.

He said that the officers have clear instructions for transfer of meters. The business community should take their grievances at least to the SDO level. Apart from this we also have our application called LESCO Light where you can do new connection, load management and lodge your complaints.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that a few months ago, NEPRA has imposed Maximum Demand Indicator (MDI) charges on all industrial and commercial consumers according to their sanctioned load. 50% electricity bill has to be paid without using the units. If they use electricity more than 50% of their allotted load, then they will pay the bill according to the units used instead of MDI charges. He said that this decision is badly affecting the business community whose industrial units are closed or work in their industry is done on a seasonal basis.

He said that we have come to our knowledge that a proposal to reduce the rate of Net Metering is under consideration. If such a decision is taken, it will discourage the government from promoting the use of renewable energy, especially solar. He said that MDI charges should be roll back immediately and the CEO should play his part in maintaining the Net Metering rate.

The LCCI President said that we have repeatedly raised our voice about the fact that many accidents have occurred due to hanging electric wires in the markets but still no specific action has been taken in this regard. He hoped that special attention will be paid to this aspect.

He said that we also get the complaint from the presidents of the markets that after a great struggle they get approval for a transformer of higher capacity for one part of their market but the staff of LESCO installs this transformer in another place. When follow-up is done in this regard, the concerned staff keeps making excuses instead of taking the necessary action.

He said that LESCO should further improve the electricity bill distribution system. Often our members complain that electricity bills are received only one day before the due date. Due to non-receipt of the bill on time, the payment cannot be made on the due date and the LESCO staff disconnects the connection within a few days, which leads to more trouble.

Kashif Anwar said that if the image of the meter on the bill is blurred, then the units are recorded much higher than the actual reading, which is also very difficult to correct. In case of rush or system down in the respective offices, the users have to submit their bill before the due date. The entire burden of these has to be borne by the consumer unnecessarily, which is sheer injustice.

He said that apart from this, in case of damage to the meter, LESCO staff sends the bill according to the average consumption of the whole year. Because there is a big difference in the use of electricity in winter and summer, therefore LESCO also sends the average consumption of the same month of the previous year.

The LCCI President said that line losses and power theft are also contributing to energy shortfalls. Although LESCO's line losses have come up to 11.52% in 2021-22, it should come down to less than 10%.

He said that LESCO should also conduct a campaign to raise public awareness about saving electricity and encourage consumers to use electrical appliances that use less electricity. In this regard, Lahore Chamber will help LESCO.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Ghufran Ullah Feb 16, 2023 11:11am
Dear sir g I belong to kpk and now completed my BS degree and also computer diploma I want humble request you please guide me adjust me with their department thanks you
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