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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Power Division to initiate forensic audit/inquiry into the issue of overbilling by power Distribution Companies (Discos) and manipulation of Maximum Demand Indication (MDI) by industrial sector, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

These directions were issued during a meeting regarding load shedding, power theft, power tariff and restructuring of power transmission system.

According to NEPRA, there are certain consumer categories where actual load/MDI is not being recorded. DISCOs for such consumers submitted that either a fixed charge per connection or per kW sanctioned load be used for recovery of fixed charges.

Discos: massive overbilling detected

The Authority, for such consumers where MDI is not recorded, has decided to initially levy fixed charges at a fixed rate per month, as mentioned in the SoT attached with the decision.

The Authority further directed the Petitioner to ensure that by the time it files its next tariff petition adjustment request, MDI for all consumers at all levels is properly recorded. However, at the same time, the Authority, in an effort not to overburden such consumers who are being levied fixed charges, has adjusted their variable rate (Rs/kWh), to minimize the impact of increase in fixed charges.

The sources said, delay in payment of bills of hundreds of billion by the federal and provincial governments also came under discussion. Power Division argued that due to non-payment of bills by the public sector, power sector, which is already in trouble, is facing grim financial situation.

Discos have already launched special drive to recover maximum revenue prior to closing of current fiscal year.

After hearing arguments of top brass of Power Division, which, however, has not recovered a substantial amount from electricity thieves, Prime Minister directed all Federal Government Ministries/ Agencies/Institutions to pay their outstanding arrears to respective Discos immediately.

Prime Minister has also directed that provinces must ensure availability of required support to Power Division including provision of HR/Police personnel for deployment in the anti power theft power campaign.

A plan for implementing technological intervention of transformers/smart metering shall be submitted for consideration of the Prime Minister in the next meeting.

The meeting also discussed current status of “corruption-tainted” National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) and progress on its restructuring/winding up.

On NTDC, Power Division has already notified a committee comprising of Minister for Economic Affairs, Ahad Khan Cheema, Minister for Power, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari and Dr. Faiz Ahmad Chaudhry (former MD NTDC) to finalize the way forward for winding up of NTDC and submit recommendations for consideration of the Prime Minister.

Power Division has been directed by the Prime Minister to initiate a summary for bifurcation of NTDC into PTIDC and NTMC after due diligence. The CPPA-G and NPCC (National Power Control System) will be restructured for creation of an Independent System & market Operator (ISMO).

Power Division has also been directed to hold online preparatory meetings with the representatives/experts of National Energy Administration (NEA) China before their visit to Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Nasir Raza Jun 21, 2024 12:49pm
Poor people of pakistan
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Ch K A Nye Jun 21, 2024 02:44pm
Treat public sector utility thieves in the same way as any other thief.
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DR.A.BASHIR Jun 21, 2024 08:38pm
WHY IGNORE IPP'S??? THEY PLAYING HAVOC WITH PAK ECONOMY,??? WHY NO AUDIT'S OF THESE IPP'S FOR VERY LONG TIME,???
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Waheed ud din Jun 23, 2024 04:05am
Please work to stop theft of electricity if you can. Also, there should be no doubt in mind that DISCOS staff is also involved in it.
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Aam Aadmi Jun 23, 2024 07:27am
This is insufficient. I do not trust such enquiries because these have never in the past produced any results. Have the audit done by a reputable foreign firm and hang the culprits publicly.
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