(Sept 14, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said consumers of electricity are braving the double-edged sword of continued tariff hike and secret over-billing.
Consumers are deprived of billions of rupees every month to make for the losses, inefficiency and corruption in the power sector, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that honest consumers are being punished for power theft and reduction in demand due to its high price.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said power sector is losing over a billion rupees per day but power distribution companies are less interested in improving governance, initiate reforms and contain theft as well as losses.
These companies have started distributing losses on unsuspecting consumers through overbilling which is burdening poor masses and contributing to a hike in the price of everything, he added.
The business leader said that the business community can only dream of competitive electricity tariff so that they can compete with regional countries in the international market.
Different governments have poured hundreds of billion in a bid to improve the power sector but to no avail, he said, adding that presently demand is less than supply but no city in the country is immune from load-shedding and fluctuation.
He said that power distribution companies have failed to improve over the last decade while to companies catering for the needs of Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Tribal areas and Sukkur is among the worst performers.
Last year the concerned ministry claimed to improve recovery by 15.5 percent while consumption jumped by 2.16 percent only.
The consumption was increased by 2.16 percent but the recovery through bills jumped by 13.22 percent which translated into an undue burden of billions of rupees on the honest consumers.
Power consumption jumped by six percent from 2015 to 2017 while it peaked to 12.5 percent in 2017-18 and now it is on the decline due to high tariff excessive billing which is very dangerous for the economy and the power sector, he warned.