Rs3.2bn recovered in power dues’ recovery drive

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Water and Power has so far recovered Rs. 3.2 billion dues mostly from government departments in current move against the defaulters.

Information Minister Pervez Rashid, Water and Power State Minister Abid Sher Ali, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif in a press conference here reiterated that the recovery drive would continue and feeders would be shut by hook or by crook to disconnect power supply to consumers who failed to pay bills.

He said free of cost electricity could not be provided and the merchandize would be sold to those who paid for the same, the minister warned.

He said serious efforts had been put in place to ensure full recovery from government departments and private sector by June 30, which would improve power situation.

He said thanks to the power supply disconnection move, an amount of Rs. 1.5 billion were recovered from Peshawar and the federal government was in touch with all provincial governments to settle disputes on power liabilities against them.

The minister said that there should be a solution to the disputed dues and the federal government should accept if it had to bear a bit of the outstanding as part of settlement arrangements to clear the backlog, he suggested.

He said agriculture was a vital sector and efforts were being made to observe minimum loadshedding and added tube wells head was reflecting Rs. 72 billion as outstanding.

Replying to a question, he said mainly defaulters come on roads to stage protests against the disconnections as they wanted to use free of cost electricity at the cost of others who regularly paid their bills.

He said a control room was being set up in the ministry to provide real time information about 8900 feeders in the country with regard to loadshedding, demand and supply gap etc.

He said the masses were experiencing eight to ten hours loadshedding due to rise in temperature and currently the gap stood at 3200 MW.

He added the masses had to brave tough time over three months but the situation would gradually improve with additional power supply of 2200MW from power projects including Gaddu, Uch and Nandipur projects.

Moreover, he said, the power situation would further improve when imported gas would start flow by end of 2015 and the domestic and industrial sector would had sufficient power supply.

He said the government was making earnest efforts to add more power supply to system and last year in May generation stood at 8200MW and but it had gone up to 10,058WW.

He said the efforts were also being made to clear circular debt but the power sector still faced it with Rs197 billion, adding 1700MW was added as result of partial clear of the intercorporate debt.

He said Ministry of Finance recently released Rs. 20 billion to the PSO for fuel supply to power plants as a part of efforts to ease loadshedding.

He said the media should play its role to educate people to regularly pay their bills.

He said if any official found responsible in the malpractice would be taken to task.