QESCO upped circular debt by 96% this year: NEPRA

Regulator chides PESCO for long hours of announced load shedding


Our Correspondent April 03, 2024
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has observed that the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) had increased the circular debt by 96% this year and if it was included in the amount of Rs236 billion it sought, the loss became even greater.

The power regulator concluded its hearing of the application for the sum of Rs236 billion the electricity distribution company had asked for from its customers for the year 2024-25.

During the hearing, the Nepra chairman inquired how loss would be incurred if Qesco’s financial needs were not met.

The Qesco officials told the power regulator that 70% of its electricity is consumed by the agricultural sector.

They added that the rate of receipts from the agricultural sector was only 1.9%.

They complained that the law enforcement agencies were not assisting the power company in recovering its dues.

The Qesco officials further raised the question that what would happen to their arrears if the government introduced solar power in the areas under their jurisdiction.

They claimed that the tubewells in Kharan district that were shifted to solar energy were still using their network.

Nepra also concluded the hearing of the Peshawar Electric Power Company’s (Pesco) application seeking a sum of Rs67.07 billion from its consumers for the year 2024-25.

The power regulator’s member Rafique Ahmed Shaikh said Pesco’s performance could be gauged from three factors alone. He pointed out that Pesco had the highest number of fatal accidents -- 18.

Secondly, he noted that Pesco had led in terms of power outages against other companies.

“Pesco is subjecting its consumers to 11 hours of announced load shedding,” he added.

The Nepra member further inquired how was it possible that there were only 48 faulty meters in the whole jurisdiction of Pesco.

The Pesco officials told Nepra that they were facing a great deal of difficulties because of the hike in petrol and diesel prices.

They added that fuel price increase had forced their vehicles to almost come to a standstill.

The Pesco officials further maintained that their industrial demand had fallen by 18%.

Nepra member Mathar Niaz Rana asked them who would buy electricity from them it they sold it at such expensive rates.

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