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KARACHI: The Sindh government is going to take up the issues of unchecked prolonged power cuts and overbilling with K-Electric, Hesco and Sepco, the energy minister told the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday.

The house roared over the frequent power outages as consumers cried foul amid the heatwave conditions across the province. Opposition also questioned the government as what stops it from taking action against the defying electricity companies.

The government is serious to notice the public electricity woes, Sindh Energy Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah claimed during the assembly session.

Replying to questions about his department, he added that the government is holding a meeting with the chief executives of K-Electric, Hesco and Sepco to discuss the prolong power cuts and over billing.

He denied an impression about a federal tax on solar panels, saying that the central government has assured that there is no such proposition under discussion.

“It will be unjust to tax solar panels amid soaring inflation and exorbitant electricity bills,” he added.

The government, he claimed, has snubbed the power distribution companies for the load shedding, adding that his party’s rule in the province is “busy” to address the public power related problems.

The minister urged the power companies to scrape its collective punishment regime in the province, as they should cut off power supplies to those consumers who fail to pay bills on time and stop subjecting the bill payers to outages.

He also announced that his government will help the power distribution companies collect bills from the defaulting consumers and end electricity theft. “The government will make every possible effort to help the distribution companies,” he maintained.

Amid the continuing heatwave through May 27, Nasir Hussain Shah again claimed that his government has asked the power companies to halt electricity load shedding keeping in view the severe weather, besides taking “special” measures to facilitate the public.

He also announced that his party’s government will convert the government run offices, hospitals, schools and other academia buildings to solar power on a gradual basis. He said that solarization of the government’s several offices have been done in Hyderabad.

Following the 18th Constitutional amendment, he informed the house that provinces can install power projects up to 50 megawatts, claiming that Sindh supplies electricity to the national grid cheaper than the other federal units.

About the Thar coal project, he said that only two blocks are functional out of 12, adding that the government plans to convert coal into fuel oil and gas. Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani added that the government is holding a meeting with the K-Electric on Friday against its excesses.

The house voted to a resolution tabled by ruling legislator Khurram Karim Soomro, advocating for plantation in the province to protect environment from pollution. The house will now meet on Thursday morning at 11 am.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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