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A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy has appreciated the performance of the Power Division in reducing the line losses by Rs 6 billion and improving recoveries by Rs 13 billion in three months from November 2018 to January 2019 when there was a continuous increase in circular debt. Sources on condition of anonymity said that increasing circular debt has the capacity to choke the system as it could create serious liquidity problem.
A recent meeting of the CCoE appreciated the performance of the Power Division after it was informed that a net increase of Rs 39.689 billion was recorded in power sector recoveries from November 2018 to January 2019 as opposed to the same period of last fiscal year following increase in collection from Rs 203.953 billion during the period under review last year to Rs 243.642 billion this year.
However, some pages of presentation made to the committee reveal that of the total Rs 39.689 billion net increase, a major portion of Rs 16.01 billion came from tariff increase and Rs 4.3 billion on account of fuel price adjustment. The power sector claims that it was able to collect Rs 6.1 billion more this year (November-January 2018-19) due to less losses and Rs 13.31 billion due to improved recovery from the consumers.
On the progress, the meeting was informed that from October 13, 2018 to February 22, 2019, 43,921 cases were detected with 485 major cases. As many as 20,712 FIRs were registered and 1,909 persons were arrested while 78.804 million kWh units were charged. The meeting was told that Rs 1.278 billion detection bill was charged and Rs 537.120 million amount of detection was recovered against the cases.
Sources said that the circular debt has crossed Rs 1.4 trillion currently and last official number shared with the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet revealed that total receivable of the power sector has increased to over Rs 1 trillion and this can choke the system.
The power sector's receivables against the federal government stood at Rs 10.4 billion by the end of November 2018, against Azad Kashmir (AJ&K) government, Rs 51.1 billion, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Rs 14.8 billion, agriculture department of Balochistan, Rs 238.4 billion, Karachi Electric (KE), Rs 65.2 billion, provincial governments, Rs 48.5 billion, private Discos, Rs 450.8 billion, and IPPs, Rs 1.8 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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