KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the Energy Department to devise a mechanism that will enable consumers to directly deposit electricity duty to the provincial government's account.
While presiding over a meeting regarding the payment of electricity bills to power distribution companies (DISCOs) and the collection of electricity duty by DISCOS, he ordered the energy minister to devise such a mechanism after consulting with the Governor of State Bank.
During the meeting, CM Murad said that DISCOS are not transferring the electricity duty they receive on behalf of the Sindh Government, to the provincial government.
He further elaborated that DISCOs, such as K-Electric (KE), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) and Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) were collecting electricity duty from domestic and commercial consumers at a rate of 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, but not transferring the collected amount to the provincial government.
CM Murad said that according to a rough estimate, KE collects around Rs3 billion on account of electricity duty but the amount is not transferred to the provincial government's account, adding that same is the case with HESCO and SEPCO.
In the light of these observations, he ordered the energy minister to form a committee, headed by the energy secretary, to reconcile the amount of electricity duties with DISCOs and direct them to transfer the amount to the provincial government.
During the meeting, CM Murad was informed that the provincial government owes Rs580 million to KE, on account of an overdue electricity bill of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. He directed the energy minister to reconcile the overdue amount and then pay KE in installments.
He said that the Energy Department should reconcile all outstnding electricity bills, including that of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, autonomous and semi-autonomous organisations and district municipal corporations, and thereafter make payments to KE.
Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh, Adviser to CM Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Finance Secretary Najam Shah, Energy Secretary Musadiq Khan and other officers attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2019.
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