ISLAMABAD: State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Monday said that over-billing issue would be thoroughly probed and stern action would taken against those involved in mis-management irrespective of their positions.
Addressing a joint press conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr Musadik Malik here, the minister said that the Prime Minister has shown great resentment on the issue of over-billing and directed to immediately review the matter.
He said the cabinet in today’s meeting decided that audit would be carried out by three different independent and reputed companies in this regard. The names of three audit companies would be notified within 72 hours who would present their reports within three weeks.
Abid said that the government was going to sign various agreements to generate over 10,000 MW cheap electricity with China but it was delayed due to the sit-ins.
He said that the government since its inception was vigorously pursuing to generate cheap electricity and cope with the menace of load-shedding.
Various coal projects in power sector in Sahiwal and Port Qasim Karachi were launched besides materializing the much awaited Dasu dam project.
The Minister said that thousands of power theft cases were registered. However, only three had been punished, he added.
He said that recovery cases of over Rs.52 billion were held due to stay orders by the courts.
Dr. Musadik Malik said that high electricity bills were due to tariff increase, withdrawal of slab facility and supply of more electricity.
He said that 5-6 per cent more electricity was generated to facilitate the consumers in this summer.
He said that over billing on part of various power distribution companies (DISCOs) was also a reason of high electricity bills.
Dr. Musadik said that restructuring programme of all DISCOs was ready and would be launched initially in three companies under a pilot project.
The programme would be extended to all DISCOs in the next 6 months, he added.
Regarding over-billing, the PM’s Special Assistant said that excess bills of consumers would be adjusted in the bills of next month.
He said reading of all meters would be carried out to ascertain the excessive billing. Additional amount if any would be collected in three installments, he said.
Replying to a question, the State Minister said that work on Neelum Jhelum Power project was underway and first phase would be ready by 2015.
He said billions of rupees had been released on the directives of Prime Minister for the project.