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ISLAMABAD: Karachi Electric (KE) has warned the federal and Sindh governments of massive power breakdowns and disconnections in the megacity in the days to come if provincial government fails to pay Rs 9 billion reconciled billing, which the company intends to spend on improvement of its system, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

This warning has been conveyed to top political and public office holders in Islamabad and Karachi in writing a couple of days before issuance of notification by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) in the matter of provisional monthly Fuel Charges Adjustments (FCA) requested by KE for the period from July 2023 to March 2024.

The Authority has decided to stagger the recovery of these FCAs in consumer bills over a period of four months; i.e., from June 2024 to September 2024.

Power cuts, overbilling: Sindh govt to take up issues with KE, Hesco and Sepco, PA told

According to the decision the consumers would be paying about Rs2.68 per unit additional FCA in June, followed by Rs3.11 per unit in July, Rs3.22 per unit in August and about Re1 per unit in September.

National Assembly also witnessed a heated debate on intensity of load shedding in Karachi especially in Lyari with divergent claims from MNA Nabeel Gabol and Minister of State for Finance and Power, Ali Pervaiz Malik. The load shedding issue has also been discussed in the Sindh Assembly.

The private power utility company, which is under pressure on both fronts; i.e., financial and political, has written a letter to Chief Minister, Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, copies of which have also been sent to concerned provincial authorities and federal government, in which the financial issue has been brought to their knowledge.

“We are reiterating this to bring your attention to the critical issue that requires immediate action. Despite numerous letters to various authorities of the Government of Sindh (GoS), we have not received payment for our outstanding reconciled electricity duet amounting to Rs 9 billion.

The said amount also includes some of the dues pending for more than a year. The non payment has severely impacted our financial position, and we are struggling to manage our operations amidst the challenging economic environment of high fuel prices and interest rates,“ said Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi, CEO KE, in his letter to Chief Minister Sindh.

According to the power utility company, payment for KW&SC, which is a significant portion of outstanding dues, has also been pending since January 2024. KE has repeatedly requested settlement, but no payment has been made without any reasonable justification

This lack of payment is hindering company’s ability to provide uninterrupted power supply, which may result in catastrophic consequences, including widespread power outages, water shortages, healthcare disruptions, food spoilage, supply chain issues, and significant economic losses,“ Avli cautioned, in his letter.

“With Eid-ul-Azha around the corner and the monsoon season approaching we face a heightened risk of breakdowns and disconnections. Load shedding and disconnections will be unavoidable if we do not receive the payment immediately. Moreover, as the financial year comes to an end, any further delay will push us towards default, exacerbating the situation,” Alvi continued.

After explaining current situation with respect to financial and operational matters of the company, the CEO sought immediate intervention of Chief Minister to direct the concerned authorities to settle company’s fully reconciled outstanding amount of Rs.9 billion.

Alvi further contended that the power utility company has always been willing to collaborate with GoS to find an amicable solution, but its ability to operate sustainably depends on the payment of Rs 9 billion outstanding dues.

The sources said CEO KE has also shared six previous letters with the Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah written in this regard in the month of May 2024.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Ch K A Nye Jun 10, 2024 07:28pm
Disconnect these defaulters until they clear their dues.
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